Bills Tracked in 2014


Click each state below to see the bills that Media Coalition tracked during the 2014 legislative session.

Total: 109 bills


Alabama

Bill number

Alabama HB 119

Sponsor

Hubbard J

Title

Massage Therapy, Board of, massage therapists further regulated, penalties increased, Secs. 34-43-3, 34-43-5, 34-43-6, 34-43-7, 34-43-9, 34-43-11, 34-43-12, 34-43-14, 34-43-15, 34-43-17, 34-43-20, 34-43-21 am’d; Sec. 34-43-10 repealed

Status

The House passed the bill on March 5, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

H.B. 119 would deem a bookstore or movie theater to be a sexually oriented business if it offers for sale, rent or exhibition any items or services intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification of the customer.

 

Present law limits this designation to businesses with the sale or rental of such items as its primary business.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Alabama HB 119

Hubbard J

Massage Therapy, Board of, massage therapists further regulated, penalties increased, Secs. 34-43-3, 34-43-5, 34-43-6, 34-43-7, 34-43-9, 34-43-11, 34-43-12, 34-43-14, 34-43-15, 34-43-17, 34-43-20, 34-43-21 am’d; Sec. 34-43-10 repealed

The House passed the bill on March 5, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

H.B. 119 would deem a bookstore or movie theater to be a sexually oriented business if it offers for sale, rent or exhibition any items or services intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification of the customer.

 

Present law limits this designation to businesses with the sale or rental of such items as its primary business.

Bill number

Alabama HB 135

Sponsor

England

Title

Websites containing personal information of persons convicted of crimes, required to remove information at no charge upon request, civil penalties, presumption of defamation

Status

The bill died in the House.

Summary

H.B. 135 would require any website that publishes an individual’s arrest photo must remove it upon written request if the individual was not convicted of the charges associated with the arrest.

 

Failure to comply with a request to takedown an arrest photo is considered a deceptive trade practice subject to all remedies including civil penalties.


The bill was amended to add a limited exemption for websites of newspapers, periodicals, TV, radio or cable news.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Alabama HB 135

England

Websites containing personal information of persons convicted of crimes, required to remove information at no charge upon request, civil penalties, presumption of defamation

The bill died in the House.

H.B. 135 would require any website that publishes an individual’s arrest photo must remove it upon written request if the individual was not convicted of the charges associated with the arrest.

 

Failure to comply with a request to takedown an arrest photo is considered a deceptive trade practice subject to all remedies including civil penalties.


The bill was amended to add a limited exemption for websites of newspapers, periodicals, TV, radio or cable news.

Bill number

Alabama SB 189

Sponsor

Smitherman

Title

Massage Therapy, Board of, massage therapists further regulated, penalties increased, Secs. 34-43-3, 34-43-5, 34-43-6, 34-43-7, 34-43-9, 34-43-10, 34-43-11, 34-43-12, 34-43-14, 34-43-15, 34-43-17, 34-43-20, 34-43-21 am’d.

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Small Business.

Summary

S.B. 189 would deem a bookstore or movie theater to be a sexually oriented business if it offers for sale, rent or exhibition any items or services intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification of the customer.

 

Present law limits this designation to businesses with the sale or rental of such items as its primary business.

 

This is a companion to H.B. 119.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Alabama SB 189

Smitherman

Massage Therapy, Board of, massage therapists further regulated, penalties increased, Secs. 34-43-3, 34-43-5, 34-43-6, 34-43-7, 34-43-9, 34-43-10, 34-43-11, 34-43-12, 34-43-14, 34-43-15, 34-43-17, 34-43-20, 34-43-21 am’d.

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Small Business.

S.B. 189 would deem a bookstore or movie theater to be a sexually oriented business if it offers for sale, rent or exhibition any items or services intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification of the customer.

 

Present law limits this designation to businesses with the sale or rental of such items as its primary business.

 

This is a companion to H.B. 119.

Arizona

Bill number

Arizona HB 2515

Sponsor

Mesnard

Title

Unlawful Distribution Of Private Images

Status

Signed by the Governor on April 30, 2014

Summary

H.B. 2515 would bar the knowing distribution of an image of another person who is nude or engaging in sexual activity without that person’s written consent.

 

There is an exception for law enforcement, medical treatment, and images involving voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting. There is no exception for newsworthy images.

 

There is nothing in the bill that excludes re-publication of an image.

 

A violation is a felony.


The bill was amended so consent was still required but it would not have to be written consent.

 

See our legal challenge to this law in Antigone Books v. Horne »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Arizona HB 2515

Mesnard

Unlawful Distribution Of Private Images

Signed by the Governor on April 30, 2014

H.B. 2515 would bar the knowing distribution of an image of another person who is nude or engaging in sexual activity without that person’s written consent.

 

There is an exception for law enforcement, medical treatment, and images involving voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting. There is no exception for newsworthy images.

 

There is nothing in the bill that excludes re-publication of an image.

 

A violation is a felony.


The bill was amended so consent was still required but it would not have to be written consent.

 

See our legal challenge to this law in Antigone Books v. Horne »

Bill number

Arizona HB 2587

Sponsor

Barton

Title

Livestock; Animal Cruelty; Violation

Status

The House passed the bill on March 10, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

H.B. 2587 would require any person who possesses visual or other evidence of cruelty to animals in violation of this section must provide the evidence to the Department of Agriculture within five business days after the person acquires the evidence.

 

The law allows local municipalities to enact similar provisions requiring that visual or other evidence be turned over to local law enforcement within five days.


The bill was amended in the House to remove the requirement that anyone who has evidence of animal cruelty must turn it over to the Department of Agriculture.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Arizona HB 2587

Barton

Livestock; Animal Cruelty; Violation

The House passed the bill on March 10, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

H.B. 2587 would require any person who possesses visual or other evidence of cruelty to animals in violation of this section must provide the evidence to the Department of Agriculture within five business days after the person acquires the evidence.

 

The law allows local municipalities to enact similar provisions requiring that visual or other evidence be turned over to local law enforcement within five days.


The bill was amended in the House to remove the requirement that anyone who has evidence of animal cruelty must turn it over to the Department of Agriculture.

California

Bill number

California AB 1256 

Sponsor

Bloom

Title

Civil law: privacy: entry and exit of facilities.

Status

Signed by the Governor on September 30, 2014

Summary

A.B. 1256 broadens the existing “anti-paparazzi” law to include restrictions on capturing images or sound in places that a person has “a reasonable expectation of privacy,” which is explicitly not limited to that person’s home or property.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

California AB 1256 

Bloom

Civil law: privacy: entry and exit of facilities.

Signed by the Governor on September 30, 2014

A.B. 1256 broadens the existing “anti-paparazzi” law to include restrictions on capturing images or sound in places that a person has “a reasonable expectation of privacy,” which is explicitly not limited to that person’s home or property.

Bill number

California SB 568

Sponsor

Steinberg

Title

Privacy: Internet: minors.

Status

Signed by the Governor on September 23, 2013

Summary

S.B. 568 would bar any operator of a web site directed at minors or that has actual knowledge that a minor was accessing the site could not market or advertise any product or service to the minor if the minor could not legally purchase the item or participate in the service in the state.

 

It also bars the site operator from allowing a third party to capture information about the minor for marketing such items or service to the minor.

 

The site operator must permit a minor to remove content or information from the site that the minor had posted. The site must make the minor aware that he or she can do so.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

California SB 568

Steinberg

Privacy: Internet: minors.

Signed by the Governor on September 23, 2013

S.B. 568 would bar any operator of a web site directed at minors or that has actual knowledge that a minor was accessing the site could not market or advertise any product or service to the minor if the minor could not legally purchase the item or participate in the service in the state.

 

It also bars the site operator from allowing a third party to capture information about the minor for marketing such items or service to the minor.

 

The site operator must permit a minor to remove content or information from the site that the minor had posted. The site must make the minor aware that he or she can do so.

Bill number

California SB 606

Sponsor

De Leon

Title

Harassment: child or ward.

Status

Signed by the Governor on September 24, 2013

Summary

S.B. 606 would bar harassment based on a parent’s occupation. Harassment is defined as knowing and willful conduct directed at a specific child that seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the child, and that serves no legitimate purpose.

 

It includes, but isn’t limited to, any actual or attempted recording of the child’s image or voice, or both, without the written consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian, by following the child’s activities or lying in wait.

 

The conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable child to suffer substantial emotional distress, and line actually cause the victim to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

California SB 606

De Leon

Harassment: child or ward.

Signed by the Governor on September 24, 2013

S.B. 606 would bar harassment based on a parent’s occupation. Harassment is defined as knowing and willful conduct directed at a specific child that seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the child, and that serves no legitimate purpose.

 

It includes, but isn’t limited to, any actual or attempted recording of the child’s image or voice, or both, without the written consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian, by following the child’s activities or lying in wait.

 

The conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable child to suffer substantial emotional distress, and line actually cause the victim to suffer substantial emotional distress.

Colorado

Bill number

Colorado HB 1047

Sponsor

BECKER

Title

Remove Booking Photographs From Internet

Status

Signed by the Governor on April 11, 2014

Summary

H.B. 1047 would require any “commercial website” to remove a mug shot within 30 days upon written request if the person pictured if the person depicted was not charged or entered into a diversion program and the statute of limitations had run, the charges were dismissed or the person was acquitted. The website could impose a fee for removing the mug shot.

 

“Commercial website” is defined as a web site that charges a fee to remove a person’s mug shot or other basic information from a website.

 

There is a specific exclusion from the definition of a “commercial website” for a website operated by a newspaper, periodical, wire service, radio or television station or network, news or feature syndicate or cable television station.


H.B. 1047 was amended to limit its application to solely to sites that charge a fee to remove the photograph from the publication or website.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Colorado HB 1047

BECKER

Remove Booking Photographs From Internet

Signed by the Governor on April 11, 2014

H.B. 1047 would require any “commercial website” to remove a mug shot within 30 days upon written request if the person pictured if the person depicted was not charged or entered into a diversion program and the statute of limitations had run, the charges were dismissed or the person was acquitted. The website could impose a fee for removing the mug shot.

 

“Commercial website” is defined as a web site that charges a fee to remove a person’s mug shot or other basic information from a website.

 

There is a specific exclusion from the definition of a “commercial website” for a website operated by a newspaper, periodical, wire service, radio or television station or network, news or feature syndicate or cable television station.


H.B. 1047 was amended to limit its application to solely to sites that charge a fee to remove the photograph from the publication or website.

Connecticut

Bill number

Connecticut SB 489

Sponsor

Judiciary Committee

Title

AN ACT CONCERNING THE UNLAWFUL DISSEMINATION OF AN INTIMATE IMAGE OF ANOTHER PERSON

Status

The Senate passed the bill on April 30, 2014. The bill died in the House.

Summary

S.B. 489 bars the electronic dissemination, with the intent to annoy, alarm, harass or terrorize, of a picture containing nudity without consent of the person in the picture.


S.B. 489 was amended so it does not apply to voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting or if the person in the image is not clearly identifiable.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Connecticut SB 489

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE UNLAWFUL DISSEMINATION OF AN INTIMATE IMAGE OF ANOTHER PERSON

The Senate passed the bill on April 30, 2014. The bill died in the House.

S.B. 489 bars the electronic dissemination, with the intent to annoy, alarm, harass or terrorize, of a picture containing nudity without consent of the person in the picture.


S.B. 489 was amended so it does not apply to voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting or if the person in the image is not clearly identifiable.

Bill number

Connecticut SB 491

Sponsor

Judiciary Committee

Title

AN ACT CONCERNING HARASSMENT OF A VICTIM OF VIOLENT CRIME OR A RELATIVE OF A VICTIM OF VIOLENT CRIME

Status

The Senate passed the bill on May 2, 2014. The bill died in the House.

Summary

S.B. 491 makes it illegal to communicate in any manner with the victim of a violent crime or a relative of the victim about the violent crime with an intent to annoy, alarm or harass.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Connecticut SB 491

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING HARASSMENT OF A VICTIM OF VIOLENT CRIME OR A RELATIVE OF A VICTIM OF VIOLENT CRIME

The Senate passed the bill on May 2, 2014. The bill died in the House.

S.B. 491 makes it illegal to communicate in any manner with the victim of a violent crime or a relative of the victim about the violent crime with an intent to annoy, alarm or harass.

Delaware

Bill number

Delaware HB 261

Sponsor

Scott

Title

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHILD ONLINE PROTECTION.

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Telecommunication, Internet & Technology.

Summary

H.B. 261 bars any website that is directed to minors from marketing or advertising material containing “sexually oriented material.”  It also bars any website with actual knowledge that a minor is using the site to gather the minor’s personally identifying information to market or advertise such material to him or her.

 

“Sexually oriented material” shall mean any book, article, magazine, publication or written matter of any kind, drawing, etching, painting, photograph, motion picture film or sound recording, which depicts sexual activity, actual or simulated, involving human beings or human beings and animals, or which exhibits uncovered human genitals or pubic region in a lewd or lascivious manner or which exhibits human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely covered.

 

Websites would also be barred from marketing: Alcoholic liquor; Tobacco products; Tobacco substitutes; Firearm; Ammunition for a firearm, or BB guns; Firearm training course; Electronic control devices; Graffiti implements; Fireworks; Tanning equipment or tanning facility; Dietary supplement products containing ephedrine; Lottery, internet lottery, internet table, etc; Salvia divinorum or Salvinorin A; Body-piercing; Branding; Tattoos; Drug paraphernalia; or Tongue-splitting.

 

H.B. 261 would also require such websites to provide an “eraser” button to allow minors to remove or hide posts if made by a poster while a minor.

 

The legislation would be enforced by the Attorney General under his or her general powers regarding consumer protection and consumer fraud. 

 

There is a private right of action that may be available under Delaware’s Consumer Fraud Act.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Delaware HB 261

Scott

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CHILD ONLINE PROTECTION.

The bill died in the House Committee on Telecommunication, Internet & Technology.

H.B. 261 bars any website that is directed to minors from marketing or advertising material containing “sexually oriented material.”  It also bars any website with actual knowledge that a minor is using the site to gather the minor’s personally identifying information to market or advertise such material to him or her.

 

“Sexually oriented material” shall mean any book, article, magazine, publication or written matter of any kind, drawing, etching, painting, photograph, motion picture film or sound recording, which depicts sexual activity, actual or simulated, involving human beings or human beings and animals, or which exhibits uncovered human genitals or pubic region in a lewd or lascivious manner or which exhibits human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if completely covered.

 

Websites would also be barred from marketing: Alcoholic liquor; Tobacco products; Tobacco substitutes; Firearm; Ammunition for a firearm, or BB guns; Firearm training course; Electronic control devices; Graffiti implements; Fireworks; Tanning equipment or tanning facility; Dietary supplement products containing ephedrine; Lottery, internet lottery, internet table, etc; Salvia divinorum or Salvinorin A; Body-piercing; Branding; Tattoos; Drug paraphernalia; or Tongue-splitting.

 

H.B. 261 would also require such websites to provide an “eraser” button to allow minors to remove or hide posts if made by a poster while a minor.

 

The legislation would be enforced by the Attorney General under his or her general powers regarding consumer protection and consumer fraud. 

 

There is a private right of action that may be available under Delaware’s Consumer Fraud Act.

Florida

Bill number

Florida SB 182 

Sponsor

Sen. Stargel

Title

Child Pornography

Status

The Senate passed the bill on April 3, 2014. The bill died in the House.

Summary

S.B. 182 would expand the definition of child pornography in 775.0847 and 827.071 to include any visual depiction that has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that a minor is engaging in sexual conduct.

 

The existing law criminalizes only images of actual minors engaged in sexual conduct.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Florida SB 182 

Sen. Stargel

Child Pornography

The Senate passed the bill on April 3, 2014. The bill died in the House.

S.B. 182 would expand the definition of child pornography in 775.0847 and 827.071 to include any visual depiction that has been created, adapted, or modified to appear that a minor is engaging in sexual conduct.

 

The existing law criminalizes only images of actual minors engaged in sexual conduct.

Georgia

Bill number

Georgia HB 39

Sponsor

Dickerson, Pam

Title

Offenses against public order; defamation; provisions

Status

The bill died in the House.

Summary

H.B. 39 would make it a crime of defamation for a person to intentionally cause another unknowing person to be wrongfully identified as appearing nude or engaged in sexual contact in an image. It must be done in a manner that a reasonable person would conclude the person depicted in the image was of the wrongfully identified person.

 

The person may cause the unknowing person to be wrongfully identified by including their name, address, telephone number or email. It can also be done by imposing the facial image of the wrongfully identified person onto the body of a person appearing nude or engaged in sexual activity.

 

A violation is subject to up to a year in prison, a fine up to $1,000 or both.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Georgia HB 39

Dickerson, Pam

Offenses against public order; defamation; provisions

The bill died in the House.

H.B. 39 would make it a crime of defamation for a person to intentionally cause another unknowing person to be wrongfully identified as appearing nude or engaged in sexual contact in an image. It must be done in a manner that a reasonable person would conclude the person depicted in the image was of the wrongfully identified person.

 

The person may cause the unknowing person to be wrongfully identified by including their name, address, telephone number or email. It can also be done by imposing the facial image of the wrongfully identified person onto the body of a person appearing nude or engaged in sexual activity.

 

A violation is subject to up to a year in prison, a fine up to $1,000 or both.

Bill number

Georgia HB 150

Sponsor

Bruce, Roger

Title

Law enforcement officers; the reproduction of arrest booking photographs; enact provisions

Status

Signed by the Governor on May 6, 2013

Summary

H.B. 150 creates a statutory Right of Publicity in one’s name image and persona for a person’s life plus 60 years. The right is limited to one’s life plus 10 years after the death of a member of the Georgia national guard or the armed forces.

 

The Right of Publicity does not apply to any literary work, dramatic work, fictional work, historical work, audiovisual work, or musical work regardless of the media in which the work appears or is transmitted; material that has political or newsworthy value; original works of fine art; or an advertisement or commercial announcement for a use permitted above.

 

A use of an aspect of an individual’s persona in connection with any news, public affairs, sports broadcast or account or political campaign shall not constitute a use for which consent is required.

 

The law also bars any person who publishes an individual’s arrest booking photograph from charging a fee for removing such photograph from the person’s publication or website.

 

It isn’t clear that the publisher would be required to take the image down.


H.B. 150 was amended in the Judiciary Committee and passed out 2.26.2013.

 

The amended bill would require that anyone who publishes mug shots for people who aren’t prosecuted, are found innocent, go into a drug treatment program or certain other outcomes must remove them upon request by the person in the picture. Failure to do so is unlawful.

 

There appears to be an exception for: Acts done by the publisher, owner, agent, or employee of a newspaper, periodical, or radio or television station, or website in the publication or dissemination of news or commentary.

 

The Right of Publicity language was removed from the bill.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Georgia HB 150

Bruce, Roger

Law enforcement officers; the reproduction of arrest booking photographs; enact provisions

Signed by the Governor on May 6, 2013

H.B. 150 creates a statutory Right of Publicity in one’s name image and persona for a person’s life plus 60 years. The right is limited to one’s life plus 10 years after the death of a member of the Georgia national guard or the armed forces.

 

The Right of Publicity does not apply to any literary work, dramatic work, fictional work, historical work, audiovisual work, or musical work regardless of the media in which the work appears or is transmitted; material that has political or newsworthy value; original works of fine art; or an advertisement or commercial announcement for a use permitted above.

 

A use of an aspect of an individual’s persona in connection with any news, public affairs, sports broadcast or account or political campaign shall not constitute a use for which consent is required.

 

The law also bars any person who publishes an individual’s arrest booking photograph from charging a fee for removing such photograph from the person’s publication or website.

 

It isn’t clear that the publisher would be required to take the image down.


H.B. 150 was amended in the Judiciary Committee and passed out 2.26.2013.

 

The amended bill would require that anyone who publishes mug shots for people who aren’t prosecuted, are found innocent, go into a drug treatment program or certain other outcomes must remove them upon request by the person in the picture. Failure to do so is unlawful.

 

There appears to be an exception for: Acts done by the publisher, owner, agent, or employee of a newspaper, periodical, or radio or television station, or website in the publication or dissemination of news or commentary.

 

The Right of Publicity language was removed from the bill.

Bill number

Georgia HB 716

Sponsor

Holt, Doug

Title

Crimes and offenses; publication of certain information relating to minors under certain circumstances; prohibit

Status

The bill died in the House.

Summary

H.B. 716 would bar the dissemination to any person the address, email or phone number of a minor without the written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.

 

The law would not apply to law enforcement or “legitimate” medical, scientific or educational activities. “Legitimate” is not defined.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Georgia HB 716

Holt, Doug

Crimes and offenses; publication of certain information relating to minors under certain circumstances; prohibit

The bill died in the House.

H.B. 716 would bar the dissemination to any person the address, email or phone number of a minor without the written consent of the minor’s parent or guardian.

 

The law would not apply to law enforcement or “legitimate” medical, scientific or educational activities. “Legitimate” is not defined.

Bill number

Georgia HB 1064

Sponsor

Gravley, Micah

Title

Crimes and offenses; offense of harassing phone calls to offense of harassing communications; change

Status

The bill died in the House.

Summary

H.B. 1064 would make it a crime to either transmit or post any electronic communication to transmit a verbal or written message or visual image for the purpose of annoying the person to whom the communication is directed or the family of that person.

 

The finder of fact may infer that a communication is intended to annoy if it transmitted for the purpose of exposing an individual to public hatred.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Georgia HB 1064

Gravley, Micah

Crimes and offenses; offense of harassing phone calls to offense of harassing communications; change

The bill died in the House.

H.B. 1064 would make it a crime to either transmit or post any electronic communication to transmit a verbal or written message or visual image for the purpose of annoying the person to whom the communication is directed or the family of that person.

 

The finder of fact may infer that a communication is intended to annoy if it transmitted for the purpose of exposing an individual to public hatred.

Hawaii

Bill number

Hawaii SB 465

Sponsor

ENGLISH

Title

Tort Actions; Physical or Constructive Invasion of Privacy; Civil Cause of Action

Status

The bill died in the House.

Summary

S.B. 465 would create a civil cause of action for “constructive invasion of privacy” if a person captures an image, makes a sound recording or other physical impression of another person engaging in personal or familial activity with a reasonable expectation of privacy and the image, recording or impression were captured in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person.

 

Constructive invasion of privacy includes assault or false imprisonment.

 

A victim of constructive invasion of privacy may recover general damages, special damages and punitive damages of up to three times the combined total of the general and special damages.

 

If the invasion of privacy is committed for a commercial purpose, the person who captured the content is subject to disgorgement of the proceeds.

 

Any person who directs, solicits, induces or causes the invasion of privacy is subject to the same damages.

 

The bill would also provide a cause of action against any person who transmits, publishes or otherwise disseminates the images, sound recording or other impression or retransmits, republishes or otherwise further disseminates the content if:

(1) The person had actual knowledge that the content was taken or captured in violation of this section; and

(2) The person received compensation, monetary or otherwise, for the rights to the unlawfully obtained visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Hawaii SB 465

ENGLISH

Tort Actions; Physical or Constructive Invasion of Privacy; Civil Cause of Action

The bill died in the House.

S.B. 465 would create a civil cause of action for “constructive invasion of privacy” if a person captures an image, makes a sound recording or other physical impression of another person engaging in personal or familial activity with a reasonable expectation of privacy and the image, recording or impression were captured in a manner that is offensive to a reasonable person.

 

Constructive invasion of privacy includes assault or false imprisonment.

 

A victim of constructive invasion of privacy may recover general damages, special damages and punitive damages of up to three times the combined total of the general and special damages.

 

If the invasion of privacy is committed for a commercial purpose, the person who captured the content is subject to disgorgement of the proceeds.

 

Any person who directs, solicits, induces or causes the invasion of privacy is subject to the same damages.

 

The bill would also provide a cause of action against any person who transmits, publishes or otherwise disseminates the images, sound recording or other impression or retransmits, republishes or otherwise further disseminates the content if:

(1) The person had actual knowledge that the content was taken or captured in violation of this section; and

(2) The person received compensation, monetary or otherwise, for the rights to the unlawfully obtained visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression.

Illinois

Bill number

Illinois HB 3686

Sponsor

Marcus C. Evans, Jr.

Title

INTERNET PROTECTION FOR MINORS

Status

The bill died in the House.

Summary

H.B. 3686 requires websites to create an “eraser” button to allow minors to remove or hide things they’ve posted on websites.

 

It also requires sites to allow parents to be able to “erase” anything posted by their minor child without permission or knowledge of the minor.


The bill was amended to remove the provision allowing a minor’s parent to erase material posted by the minor.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Illinois HB 3686

Marcus C. Evans, Jr.

INTERNET PROTECTION FOR MINORS

The bill died in the House.

H.B. 3686 requires websites to create an “eraser” button to allow minors to remove or hide things they’ve posted on websites.

 

It also requires sites to allow parents to be able to “erase” anything posted by their minor child without permission or knowledge of the minor.


The bill was amended to remove the provision allowing a minor’s parent to erase material posted by the minor.

Bill number

Illinois HB 4320

Sponsor

Scott Drury

Title

CRIM CD-SEXUAL EXPLOITATION

Status

The House passed the bill on March 27, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

H.B. 4320 bars the intentional dissemination of an image of another identifiable person who has his or her “intimate parts” exposed or engaged in sexual activity if the person knows or should have known that the person depicted in the image has not consented to its dissemination.

 

“Intimate parts” is defined as unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, if a female, an unclothed fully or partially developed breast.

 

There is an exception for images involving voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting. There’s a second exception for any dissemination that serves a public purpose.

 

A violation is a Class 4 felony.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Illinois HB 4320

Scott Drury

CRIM CD-SEXUAL EXPLOITATION

The House passed the bill on March 27, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

H.B. 4320 bars the intentional dissemination of an image of another identifiable person who has his or her “intimate parts” exposed or engaged in sexual activity if the person knows or should have known that the person depicted in the image has not consented to its dissemination.

 

“Intimate parts” is defined as unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks or, if a female, an unclothed fully or partially developed breast.

 

There is an exception for images involving voluntary exposure in a public or commercial setting. There’s a second exception for any dissemination that serves a public purpose.

 

A violation is a Class 4 felony.

Bill number

Illinois HB 5278

Sponsor

Scott Drury

Title

CIV PRO-ANONYMOUS DEFAMATION

Status

The House passed the bill on April 2, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

H.B. 5278 extends the statute of limitations when slander, libel, or publication of a matter violating the right of privacy is committed anonymously, under a false or fictitious name, or without identifying the speaker, author, or publisher sufficiently to permit an action to be commenced against the person.

 

The period of limitation shall not run during the time period in which the person entitled to bring the action undertakes to discover the identity of one who may be responsible for damages.

 

Presently the statute of limitations is two years from time of publication.


The bill was amended to cap the statute of limitations at three years regardless of whether the speech was anonymous, under a false name or the author was not identified.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Illinois HB 5278

Scott Drury

CIV PRO-ANONYMOUS DEFAMATION

The House passed the bill on April 2, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

H.B. 5278 extends the statute of limitations when slander, libel, or publication of a matter violating the right of privacy is committed anonymously, under a false or fictitious name, or without identifying the speaker, author, or publisher sufficiently to permit an action to be commenced against the person.

 

The period of limitation shall not run during the time period in which the person entitled to bring the action undertakes to discover the identity of one who may be responsible for damages.

 

Presently the statute of limitations is two years from time of publication.


The bill was amended to cap the statute of limitations at three years regardless of whether the speech was anonymous, under a false name or the author was not identified.

Bill number

Illinois SB 1614

Sponsor

Ira I. Silverstein

Title

INTERNET POSTING REMOVAL ACT

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Assignments.

Summary

S.B. 1614 would require web site administrators to remove any anonymous comments posted on his or her site if requested to do so unless the commenter agrees to attach his or her name to the comment and provide an IP address, legal name and home address to the administrator.

 

All website administrators must have contact information to allow take down requests to be made in any section of the site that allows comments.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Illinois SB 1614

Ira I. Silverstein

INTERNET POSTING REMOVAL ACT

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Assignments.

S.B. 1614 would require web site administrators to remove any anonymous comments posted on his or her site if requested to do so unless the commenter agrees to attach his or her name to the comment and provide an IP address, legal name and home address to the administrator.

 

All website administrators must have contact information to allow take down requests to be made in any section of the site that allows comments.

Bill number

Illinois SB 2694

Sponsor

Michael E. Hastings

Title

POSTING INFORMATION-INTERNET

Status

The Senate passed the bill on February 27, 2014. The House passed the bill with amendments on May 30, 2014. The Senate and House failed to concur on the amendments before the session adjourned.

Summary

S.B. 2694 makes it illegal to knowingly post on an Internet site an image of a person who is in a state of nudity or sexual excitement or engaged in sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of the person depicted in the image.

 

It would also make it unlawful for any person engaged in “placing, posting, publishing, reproducing or maintaining an Internet site to solicit or accept payment of a fee for removal of a person’s “private material” or “identifying information” if it has been posted on the site without the knowledge and consent of that person.

 

“Private information” is any image that includes nudity, a state of sexual excitement or sexual conduct.

 

“Identifying information” means name, address, phone number or email.


The bill was amended to provide that the posting must be done with intent to cause emotional distress. 

 

Also, an exception was added for images published by the “news media” that are of “substantial public interest.”

 

“News media” is defined as “a newspaper or other periodical issued at regular intervals whether in print or electronic format, a news service whether in print or electronic format, a radio station, a television station, a television network, a community antenna television service, or a person or corporation engaged in making news reels or other motion picture news for public showing.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Illinois SB 2694

Michael E. Hastings

POSTING INFORMATION-INTERNET

The Senate passed the bill on February 27, 2014. The House passed the bill with amendments on May 30, 2014. The Senate and House failed to concur on the amendments before the session adjourned.

S.B. 2694 makes it illegal to knowingly post on an Internet site an image of a person who is in a state of nudity or sexual excitement or engaged in sexual activity without the knowledge and consent of the person depicted in the image.

 

It would also make it unlawful for any person engaged in “placing, posting, publishing, reproducing or maintaining an Internet site to solicit or accept payment of a fee for removal of a person’s “private material” or “identifying information” if it has been posted on the site without the knowledge and consent of that person.

 

“Private information” is any image that includes nudity, a state of sexual excitement or sexual conduct.

 

“Identifying information” means name, address, phone number or email.


The bill was amended to provide that the posting must be done with intent to cause emotional distress. 

 

Also, an exception was added for images published by the “news media” that are of “substantial public interest.”

 

“News media” is defined as “a newspaper or other periodical issued at regular intervals whether in print or electronic format, a news service whether in print or electronic format, a radio station, a television station, a television network, a community antenna television service, or a person or corporation engaged in making news reels or other motion picture news for public showing.”

Kansas

Bill number

Kansas HB 2165

Sponsor

Committee on Judiciary

Title

Amending the crime of promotion to minors of material harmful to minors.

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 2165 would change the scienter requirement from knowing to reckless for the purpose of the state statute barring the display to a minor of material harmful to minors.

 

It would also broaden the law to apply to all non-commercial establishments. Presently, it only applies to commercial establishments.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2165 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kansas HB 2165

Committee on Judiciary

Amending the crime of promotion to minors of material harmful to minors.

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 2165 would change the scienter requirement from knowing to reckless for the purpose of the state statute barring the display to a minor of material harmful to minors.

 

It would also broaden the law to apply to all non-commercial establishments. Presently, it only applies to commercial establishments.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2165 »

Bill number

Kansas HB 2496

Sponsor

Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice

Title

Amending the crime of promotion to minors of material harmful to minors.

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice.

Summary

H.B. 2496 would change the scienter requirement from knowing to reckless for the purpose of the state statute barring the display to a minor of material harmful to minors.

 

It would also broaden the law to apply to all non-commercial establishments. Presently, it only applies to commercial establishments.

 

This bill is the same as H.B. 2165 that was introduced last year but failed to make it out of committee.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2496 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kansas HB 2496

Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice

Amending the crime of promotion to minors of material harmful to minors.

The bill died in the House Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice.

H.B. 2496 would change the scienter requirement from knowing to reckless for the purpose of the state statute barring the display to a minor of material harmful to minors.

 

It would also broaden the law to apply to all non-commercial establishments. Presently, it only applies to commercial establishments.

 

This bill is the same as H.B. 2165 that was introduced last year but failed to make it out of committee.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2496 »

Bill number

Kansas SB 401

Sponsor

Committee on Judiciary

Title

Removing affirmative defense to promotion to minors of material harmful to minors for public, private or parochial schools.

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

Summary

S.B. 401 would change the scienter requirement from knowing to reckless for the purpose of the state statute barring the display to a minor of material harmful to minors.

 

This bill makes the same change to the scienter requirement as H.B. 2496 which is pending in the House and H.B. 2165 that was introduced last year but failed to make it out of committee.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 401 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kansas SB 401

Committee on Judiciary

Removing affirmative defense to promotion to minors of material harmful to minors for public, private or parochial schools.

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

S.B. 401 would change the scienter requirement from knowing to reckless for the purpose of the state statute barring the display to a minor of material harmful to minors.

 

This bill makes the same change to the scienter requirement as H.B. 2496 which is pending in the House and H.B. 2165 that was introduced last year but failed to make it out of committee.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 401 »

Kentucky

Bill number

Kentucky HB 130

Sponsor

J. Jenkins

Title

AN ACT relating to distribution of non-consensual pornography

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 130 bars the intentional dissemination of any “private erotic matter” to anyone without the consent of the person depicted.

 

“Private erotic matter” is defined as any image which depicts the exposure of unclothed or apparently unclothed human genitals, buttocks, or nipple of the female breast or sexual conduct that was created for private use with the consent of the person depicted and without authorization to distribute.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kentucky HB 130

J. Jenkins

AN ACT relating to distribution of non-consensual pornography

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 130 bars the intentional dissemination of any “private erotic matter” to anyone without the consent of the person depicted.

 

“Private erotic matter” is defined as any image which depicts the exposure of unclothed or apparently unclothed human genitals, buttocks, or nipple of the female breast or sexual conduct that was created for private use with the consent of the person depicted and without authorization to distribute.

Bill number

Kentucky HB 412

Sponsor

J. Adams

Title

AN ACT relating to harassing communications

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 412 makes it a crime to electronically communicate with another person any comment, request or suggestion which is lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent with an intent to annoy or alarm the person. 

 

It would also be a crime to communicate with a person in any written form in a manner which causes annoyance or alarm and “serves no purpose of legitimate communication.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Kentucky HB 412

J. Adams

AN ACT relating to harassing communications

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 412 makes it a crime to electronically communicate with another person any comment, request or suggestion which is lewd, lascivious, filthy or indecent with an intent to annoy or alarm the person. 

 

It would also be a crime to communicate with a person in any written form in a manner which causes annoyance or alarm and “serves no purpose of legitimate communication.”

Louisiana

Bill number

Louisiana HB 258

Sponsor

Tim Burns

Title

Crime: Creates The Crime Of Unlawful Distribution Of Material Harmful To Minors Through The Internet (Or See Fisc Note Lf Rv)

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.

Summary

H.B. 258 would make it illegal to distribute material harmful to minors by the Internet unless the person who publishes the harmful material requires an age verification system to access the material.

 

An “age verification system” is defined as technology used by a website to confirm that a user attempting to access the website is at least 18 year old.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 258 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Louisiana HB 258

Tim Burns

Crime: Creates The Crime Of Unlawful Distribution Of Material Harmful To Minors Through The Internet (Or See Fisc Note Lf Rv)

The bill died in the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.

H.B. 258 would make it illegal to distribute material harmful to minors by the Internet unless the person who publishes the harmful material requires an age verification system to access the material.

 

An “age verification system” is defined as technology used by a website to confirm that a user attempting to access the website is at least 18 year old.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 258 »

Maryland

Bill number

Maryland HB 43

Sponsor

Simmons

Title

Criminal Law – Harassment – Revenge Porn

Status

The bill is signed by the Governor on May 15, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 43 makes it a crime to knowingly disclose a photographic image of another person whose “intimate parts” are exposed or who is engaged in an act of sexual contact without that person’s consent and with the intent to cause serious emotional distress.

 

“Intimate parts” is defined as naked genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female nipple.

 

Disclosure includes republishing or redistributing. The bill would not apply to voluntary exposure in public or a commercial setting.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Maryland HB 43

Simmons

Criminal Law – Harassment – Revenge Porn

The bill is signed by the Governor on May 15, 2014.

H.B. 43 makes it a crime to knowingly disclose a photographic image of another person whose “intimate parts” are exposed or who is engaged in an act of sexual contact without that person’s consent and with the intent to cause serious emotional distress.

 

“Intimate parts” is defined as naked genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female nipple.

 

Disclosure includes republishing or redistributing. The bill would not apply to voluntary exposure in public or a commercial setting.

Bill number

Maryland HB 64

Sponsor

Cardin

Title

Criminal Law – Intentional Disclosure of Sexually Explicit Image of Another Person Without Consent

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 64 would make it a crime to intentionally disclose a sexually explicit image of another person who identifiable and whose “intimate parts” are exposed or who is engaged in sexual activity knowing that the person depicted has not consented to the disclosure.

 

Disclose is defined as any distribution of the image(s) including republication.

 

“Intimate parts” is defined as naked genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female nipple.

 

The legislation contains two notable exemptions: It exempts disclosure of an image with a bona fide and lawful scientific, educational, governmental, news or other similar public purpose.

 

Second, it exempts a picture taken of someone who voluntarily exposes him or herself in a public or commercial setting.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Maryland HB 64

Cardin

Criminal Law – Intentional Disclosure of Sexually Explicit Image of Another Person Without Consent

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 64 would make it a crime to intentionally disclose a sexually explicit image of another person who identifiable and whose “intimate parts” are exposed or who is engaged in sexual activity knowing that the person depicted has not consented to the disclosure.

 

Disclose is defined as any distribution of the image(s) including republication.

 

“Intimate parts” is defined as naked genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female nipple.

 

The legislation contains two notable exemptions: It exempts disclosure of an image with a bona fide and lawful scientific, educational, governmental, news or other similar public purpose.

 

Second, it exempts a picture taken of someone who voluntarily exposes him or herself in a public or commercial setting.

Massachusetts

Bill number

Massachusetts HB 3924

Sponsor

Rep. Naughton, Harold

Title

An Act relative to the disclosure of visual images of a person without his or her consent

Status

The bill was converted into a study bill in the House Commitee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 3924 bars the willful disclosure of an image depicting another identifiable person who is nude, partially nude or engage in sexual activity if, at the time of disclosure, he or she knew or should have known that the person depicted did not consent to the disclosure.  A violation is subject to 2 and half to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

 

There is an exception for disclosure for any “bona fide and lawful public purpose.”  The law does not apply to images of someone who voluntary exposes him or herself in public or in a commercial setting.

 

“Partially nude” is defined as exposure of the human genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Massachusetts HB 3924

Rep. Naughton, Harold

An Act relative to the disclosure of visual images of a person without his or her consent

The bill was converted into a study bill in the House Commitee on Judiciary.

H.B. 3924 bars the willful disclosure of an image depicting another identifiable person who is nude, partially nude or engage in sexual activity if, at the time of disclosure, he or she knew or should have known that the person depicted did not consent to the disclosure.  A violation is subject to 2 and half to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

 

There is an exception for disclosure for any “bona fide and lawful public purpose.”  The law does not apply to images of someone who voluntary exposes him or herself in public or in a commercial setting.

 

“Partially nude” is defined as exposure of the human genitals, buttocks, pubic area or female breast below a point immediately above the top of the areola.

Bill number

Massachusetts SB 168

Sponsor

Sen. Brownsberger, William

Title

Resolve establishing a special commission to investigate video games as a form of media and as a training tool

Status

The bill was converted into a study bill in the House Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

Summary

S.B. 168 would create a commission to study video games that allow a player to simulate severe battery or killing which the bill refers to as killing games.

 

The commission will study, investigate, and provide conclusions regarding:

(i) the social benefits, impacts and implications of video games in general and killing games in particular, comparing the impact on youth with the impact on adults;

(ii) the use of video games as military training devices, educational devices, and other training applications;

(iii) how video games compare to other forms of media in terms of their ability to recreate a realistic experience, to desensitize the consumer, to train the consumer to accept certain ideas, and to teach the player new skills or capabilities;

(iv) the addictive quality of video games;

(v) any connection, including any exposure to or imitation of behaviors exhibited in video games, between killing games and actual violence, including rampage killings that have taken place since 1990;

(vi) the reasoning and conclusions drawn in the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, as well as other freedom of speech considerations relative to the regulation of video games, in light of the conclusions drawn by the commission pursuant to (i)-(v); and

(vii) the anticipated cost of any proposals to regulate video games.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 168 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Massachusetts SB 168

Sen. Brownsberger, William

Resolve establishing a special commission to investigate video games as a form of media and as a training tool

The bill was converted into a study bill in the House Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.

S.B. 168 would create a commission to study video games that allow a player to simulate severe battery or killing which the bill refers to as killing games.

 

The commission will study, investigate, and provide conclusions regarding:

(i) the social benefits, impacts and implications of video games in general and killing games in particular, comparing the impact on youth with the impact on adults;

(ii) the use of video games as military training devices, educational devices, and other training applications;

(iii) how video games compare to other forms of media in terms of their ability to recreate a realistic experience, to desensitize the consumer, to train the consumer to accept certain ideas, and to teach the player new skills or capabilities;

(iv) the addictive quality of video games;

(v) any connection, including any exposure to or imitation of behaviors exhibited in video games, between killing games and actual violence, including rampage killings that have taken place since 1990;

(vi) the reasoning and conclusions drawn in the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, as well as other freedom of speech considerations relative to the regulation of video games, in light of the conclusions drawn by the commission pursuant to (i)-(v); and

(vii) the anticipated cost of any proposals to regulate video games.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 168 »

Bill number

Massachusetts SB 1630

Sponsor

Sen. Rosenberg, Stanley

Title

An Act protecting the commercial value of artists, entertainers, and other notable personalities

Status

The bill was substituted with Senate Bill 2022 in the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. Senate Bill 2022 passed in the Senate on June 12, 2014. It died in the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Summary

Creates a statutory right of publicity for the life of a person plus 70 years.

 

The right does not apply to:
(i) use of a personality’s identity as part of a news report or commentary or as part of an artistic or expressive work, such as a live performance, work of art, literary work, theatrical work, musical work, audiovisual work, motion picture, television program, radio program or the like,
(ii) use of a personality’s identity in an advertisement, promotion or commercial announcement for any such news report, commentary or work containing the personality’s identity,
(iii) use of a personality’s identity in the personality’s role as a member of the public where the personality is not named or similarly identified,
(iv) use of a personality’s identity or a group of personalities’ identities in a manner that is incidental or de minimis or
(v) use of a personality’s identity in a manner that is otherwise permitted by law.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Massachusetts SB 1630

Sen. Rosenberg, Stanley

An Act protecting the commercial value of artists, entertainers, and other notable personalities

The bill was substituted with Senate Bill 2022 in the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. Senate Bill 2022 passed in the Senate on June 12, 2014. It died in the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Creates a statutory right of publicity for the life of a person plus 70 years.

 

The right does not apply to:
(i) use of a personality’s identity as part of a news report or commentary or as part of an artistic or expressive work, such as a live performance, work of art, literary work, theatrical work, musical work, audiovisual work, motion picture, television program, radio program or the like,
(ii) use of a personality’s identity in an advertisement, promotion or commercial announcement for any such news report, commentary or work containing the personality’s identity,
(iii) use of a personality’s identity in the personality’s role as a member of the public where the personality is not named or similarly identified,
(iv) use of a personality’s identity or a group of personalities’ identities in a manner that is incidental or de minimis or
(v) use of a personality’s identity in a manner that is otherwise permitted by law.

Bill number

Massachusetts SB 2022

Sponsor

Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development

Title

An Act protecting the commercial value of artists, entertainers, and other notable personalities

Status

The bill passed in the Senate on June 12, 2014. The bill died in the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Summary

S.B. 2022 is a slightly revised version of S.B. 1630.  It creates a statutory right of publicity for the life of a person plus 70 years.  It specifically excludes “interactive electronic or digital gaming” from the term “audiovisual” work.

 

The right does not apply to:

1. use of a personality’s identity as part of a news report or commentary;

2. as part of an artistic or expressive work, such as a live performance, work of art, literary work, theatrical work, musical work, audiovisual work, motion picture, television program, radio program or the like;

3. use of a personality’s identity in an advertisement, promotion or commercial announcement for any such news report, commentary or work containing the personality’s identity;

4. use of a personality’s identity in the personality’s role as a member of the public where the personality is not named or otherwise identified;

5. use of a personality’s identity or a group of personalities’ identities in a manner that is incidental or de minimis; or

6. use of a personality’s identity in a manner that is otherwise permitted by law.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Massachusetts SB 2022

Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development

An Act protecting the commercial value of artists, entertainers, and other notable personalities

The bill passed in the Senate on June 12, 2014. The bill died in the House Committee on Ways and Means.

S.B. 2022 is a slightly revised version of S.B. 1630.  It creates a statutory right of publicity for the life of a person plus 70 years.  It specifically excludes “interactive electronic or digital gaming” from the term “audiovisual” work.

 

The right does not apply to:

1. use of a personality’s identity as part of a news report or commentary;

2. as part of an artistic or expressive work, such as a live performance, work of art, literary work, theatrical work, musical work, audiovisual work, motion picture, television program, radio program or the like;

3. use of a personality’s identity in an advertisement, promotion or commercial announcement for any such news report, commentary or work containing the personality’s identity;

4. use of a personality’s identity in the personality’s role as a member of the public where the personality is not named or otherwise identified;

5. use of a personality’s identity or a group of personalities’ identities in a manner that is incidental or de minimis; or

6. use of a personality’s identity in a manner that is otherwise permitted by law.

Michigan

Bill number

Michigan SB 924

Sponsor

Steven Bieda

Title

Crimes; other; posting of sexually explicit image of another person on internet with intent to frighten, intimidate, or harass; prohibit, and require removal of sexually explicit images under certain circumstances. Amends 1931 PA 328

Status

The bill passed in the Senate on June 4, 2014. The bill failed to pass in the House Committee on Criminal Justice.

Summary

S.B. 924 bars the posting on the Internet of any “sexually explicit” photograph, drawing or other image of another person with the intent to frighten, intimidate or harass.

 

The bill also makes it illegal to refuse or fail to remove such a photo upon written request by the person depicted regardless of the motivation for posting it.  This provision applies even if the person depicted in the image consented to the image being captured.  There is an exception to this exception if the person depicted knew the picture would be “sexually explicit” and signed a knowing release to allow it to be posted.

 

“Sexually explicit” is defined as display of a person’s genitalia, anus or, if female, any part of the nipple or areola. 

 

It is an affirmative defense that the person who posted the image took all reasonable steps to have it removed upon written request.

 

A first violation is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both.  A second offense is punishable by up to a year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Michigan SB 924

Steven Bieda

Crimes; other; posting of sexually explicit image of another person on internet with intent to frighten, intimidate, or harass; prohibit, and require removal of sexually explicit images under certain circumstances. Amends 1931 PA 328

The bill passed in the Senate on June 4, 2014. The bill failed to pass in the House Committee on Criminal Justice.

S.B. 924 bars the posting on the Internet of any “sexually explicit” photograph, drawing or other image of another person with the intent to frighten, intimidate or harass.

 

The bill also makes it illegal to refuse or fail to remove such a photo upon written request by the person depicted regardless of the motivation for posting it.  This provision applies even if the person depicted in the image consented to the image being captured.  There is an exception to this exception if the person depicted knew the picture would be “sexually explicit” and signed a knowing release to allow it to be posted.

 

“Sexually explicit” is defined as display of a person’s genitalia, anus or, if female, any part of the nipple or areola. 

 

It is an affirmative defense that the person who posted the image took all reasonable steps to have it removed upon written request.

 

A first violation is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both.  A second offense is punishable by up to a year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both.

Minnesota

Bill number

Minnesota HF 1940

Sponsor

Norton

Title

Booking photograph data practices provisions established.

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Public Safety, Finance and Policy.

Summary

H.F. 1940 would require any publisher to remove an arrest photo upon request if the person in the photo was not convicted.  If the person in the photo was convicted, the publisher must limit the information associated with the picture to the person’s first name, last initial and crime of conviction.

 

The legislation also requires any publisher who seeks access to an arrest photo to explain how the image will be used and every location it will appear.  Any re-publisher who receives the image from a publisher who obtained the picture from the state must also file this information.

 

H.F. 1940 would not require that the person requesting that the information be removed live in Minnesota nor does the website subject to the request to take down the information need to be located in the state.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.F. 1940 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Minnesota HF 1940

Norton

Booking photograph data practices provisions established.

The bill died in the House Committee on Public Safety, Finance and Policy.

H.F. 1940 would require any publisher to remove an arrest photo upon request if the person in the photo was not convicted.  If the person in the photo was convicted, the publisher must limit the information associated with the picture to the person’s first name, last initial and crime of conviction.

 

The legislation also requires any publisher who seeks access to an arrest photo to explain how the image will be used and every location it will appear.  Any re-publisher who receives the image from a publisher who obtained the picture from the state must also file this information.

 

H.F. 1940 would not require that the person requesting that the information be removed live in Minnesota nor does the website subject to the request to take down the information need to be located in the state.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.F. 1940 »

Bill number

Minnesota SF 1863

Sponsor

Eaton

Title

Booking photographs data practices provisions modifications; arrest data classification

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.F. 1863 would require any publisher to remove an arrest photo upon request if the person in the photo was not convicted.  If the person in the photo was convicted, the publisher must limit the information associated with the picture to the person’s first name, last initial and crime of conviction.

 

The legislation also requires any publisher who seeks access to an arrest photo to explain how the image will be used and every location it will appear.  Any re-publisher who receives the image from a publisher who obtained the picture from the state must also file this information.

 

S.F. 1863 would not require that the person requesting that the information be removed is a resident or citizen of Minnesota nor does the website subject to the request to take down the information need to be located in the state.

 

The bill is a companion to H.F. 1940.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.F. 1863 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Minnesota SF 1863

Eaton

Booking photographs data practices provisions modifications; arrest data classification

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

S.F. 1863 would require any publisher to remove an arrest photo upon request if the person in the photo was not convicted.  If the person in the photo was convicted, the publisher must limit the information associated with the picture to the person’s first name, last initial and crime of conviction.

 

The legislation also requires any publisher who seeks access to an arrest photo to explain how the image will be used and every location it will appear.  Any re-publisher who receives the image from a publisher who obtained the picture from the state must also file this information.

 

S.F. 1863 would not require that the person requesting that the information be removed is a resident or citizen of Minnesota nor does the website subject to the request to take down the information need to be located in the state.

 

The bill is a companion to H.F. 1940.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.F. 1863 »

Mississippi

Bill number

Mississippi HB 1

Sponsor

Mims

Title

Dissemination of sexually oriented materials to minors; revise penalties.

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 1 would expand Mississippi’s existing law barring dissemination of “sexually oriented material” to a minor to include an image on an electronic device.  Existing law already bars the dissemination of such material by traditional means.

 

“Sexually oriented material” is defined as contains representations or descriptions, actual or simulated, of masturbation, sodomy, excretory functions, lewd exhibition of the genitals or female breasts, sadomasochistic abuse (for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification), homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or the breast or breasts of a female for the purpose of sexual stimulation, gratification or perversion.

 

The definition does not include any part of the Miller/Ginsberg test.

 

A violation of the law would be subject to no less than one year in prison and no more than five years in prison.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 1 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Mississippi HB 1

Mims

Dissemination of sexually oriented materials to minors; revise penalties.

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 1 would expand Mississippi’s existing law barring dissemination of “sexually oriented material” to a minor to include an image on an electronic device.  Existing law already bars the dissemination of such material by traditional means.

 

“Sexually oriented material” is defined as contains representations or descriptions, actual or simulated, of masturbation, sodomy, excretory functions, lewd exhibition of the genitals or female breasts, sadomasochistic abuse (for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification), homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, sexual intercourse, or physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or the breast or breasts of a female for the purpose of sexual stimulation, gratification or perversion.

 

The definition does not include any part of the Miller/Ginsberg test.

 

A violation of the law would be subject to no less than one year in prison and no more than five years in prison.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 1 »

Missouri

Bill number

Missouri HB 1346

Sponsor

Conway, Kathie

Title

Establishes Carrie’s Law that creates the crime of sexual exploitation by a person of higher authority

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Rules.

Summary

H.B. 1346 has been amended to define dissemination to a minor of material harmful to minors as an offense of “unlawful Internet communication” with a minor.  The bill does not explain what the implications are of being convicted of such a crime.

 

Also, the Missouri law barring dissemination of harmful to minors material to minors does not apply to the Internet.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Missouri HB 1346

Conway, Kathie

Establishes Carrie’s Law that creates the crime of sexual exploitation by a person of higher authority

The bill died in the House Committee on Rules.

H.B. 1346 has been amended to define dissemination to a minor of material harmful to minors as an offense of “unlawful Internet communication” with a minor.  The bill does not explain what the implications are of being convicted of such a crime.

 

Also, the Missouri law barring dissemination of harmful to minors material to minors does not apply to the Internet.

Bill number

Missouri HB 1371

Sponsor

Cox, Stanley

Title

Changes the laws regarding the Missouri Criminal Code

Status

Signed by the Governor on July 9, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 1371 would amend section 573.090 which bars the display of “video cassettes or other video reproduction devices” containing certain violent material. The law was held unconstitutional in VSDA v. Webster.

 

The amendments would increase the penalty for certain violations of the law.


The bill was amended to remove 573.090 from the Missouri code of statutes.  The law was held unconstitutional in VSDA v. Webster.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Missouri HB 1371

Cox, Stanley

Changes the laws regarding the Missouri Criminal Code

Signed by the Governor on July 9, 2014.

H.B. 1371 would amend section 573.090 which bars the display of “video cassettes or other video reproduction devices” containing certain violent material. The law was held unconstitutional in VSDA v. Webster.

 

The amendments would increase the penalty for certain violations of the law.


The bill was amended to remove 573.090 from the Missouri code of statutes.  The law was held unconstitutional in VSDA v. Webster.

Bill number

Missouri HB 1665

Sponsor

Jones, Caleb

Title

Changes the laws regarding the administration of justice

Status

Signed by the Governor on July 9, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 1665 would require anyone who has posted an arrest booking photo on a website to remove it upon written request by the person in the image if that person was acquitted of the charge, the charge was dismissed, access to the information about the case was restricted or law enforcement has elected not to pursue criminal charges against the person.

 

The legislation would deem “any person who is engaged in any activity involving or using a computer or computer network who publishes on such person’s website a subject individual’s arrest booking photograph for purposes of commerce” to be transacting business in Missouri and subject to this law.

 

A violation of the law would be subject to criminal prosecution.

 

It also allows any “consumer” to recover actual and punitive damages, legal fees and other legal remedies if he or she suffers harm due to website failing to comply with a request to remove an arrest photo.


H.B. 1665 was amended to exclude from liability “any business or organization that is engaged in bona fide news coverage or production of a feature for public informational, entertainment, or educational purposes.”

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 1665 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Missouri HB 1665

Jones, Caleb

Changes the laws regarding the administration of justice

Signed by the Governor on July 9, 2014.

H.B. 1665 would require anyone who has posted an arrest booking photo on a website to remove it upon written request by the person in the image if that person was acquitted of the charge, the charge was dismissed, access to the information about the case was restricted or law enforcement has elected not to pursue criminal charges against the person.

 

The legislation would deem “any person who is engaged in any activity involving or using a computer or computer network who publishes on such person’s website a subject individual’s arrest booking photograph for purposes of commerce” to be transacting business in Missouri and subject to this law.

 

A violation of the law would be subject to criminal prosecution.

 

It also allows any “consumer” to recover actual and punitive damages, legal fees and other legal remedies if he or she suffers harm due to website failing to comply with a request to remove an arrest photo.


H.B. 1665 was amended to exclude from liability “any business or organization that is engaged in bona fide news coverage or production of a feature for public informational, entertainment, or educational purposes.”

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 1665 »

Nebraska

Bill number

Nebraska LB 204

Sponsor

Larson

Title

Change and provide criminal sanctions regarding animals and animal facilities

Status

The bill died in the Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

L.B. 204 is an ag-gag bill that requires any person who sees what they believe to be an animal that has been abandoned, cruelly neglected, or cruelly mistreated must report it to the police or other government officials within in 24 hours and must submit to the police or other officials any images captured by the observer.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Nebraska LB 204

Larson

Change and provide criminal sanctions regarding animals and animal facilities

The bill died in the Committee on Judiciary.

L.B. 204 is an ag-gag bill that requires any person who sees what they believe to be an animal that has been abandoned, cruelly neglected, or cruelly mistreated must report it to the police or other government officials within in 24 hours and must submit to the police or other officials any images captured by the observer.

Bill number

Nebraska LB 355

Sponsor

Larson

Title

Change the age of majority and certain age requirements

Status

The bill died in the Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

L.B. 355 would change the age of a perpetrator in the existing enticement statute from anyone 19 years old or older to 18 years old or older.

 

However, the existing enticement statute is unconstitutional. It creates the crime of enticement by electronic communication device if a person who is nineteen eighteen years of age or over and knowingly and intentionally utilizes an electronic communication device to contact a child under sixteen years of age or a peace officer who is believed by such person to be a child under sixteen years of age and in so doing:

(a) Uses or transmits any indecent, lewd, lascivious, or obscene language, writing, or sound;

(b) Transmits or otherwise disseminates any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct; or

(c) offers or solicits any indecent, lewd or lascivious act.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Nebraska LB 355

Larson

Change the age of majority and certain age requirements

The bill died in the Committee on Judiciary.

L.B. 355 would change the age of a perpetrator in the existing enticement statute from anyone 19 years old or older to 18 years old or older.

 

However, the existing enticement statute is unconstitutional. It creates the crime of enticement by electronic communication device if a person who is nineteen eighteen years of age or over and knowingly and intentionally utilizes an electronic communication device to contact a child under sixteen years of age or a peace officer who is believed by such person to be a child under sixteen years of age and in so doing:

(a) Uses or transmits any indecent, lewd, lascivious, or obscene language, writing, or sound;

(b) Transmits or otherwise disseminates any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct; or

(c) offers or solicits any indecent, lewd or lascivious act.

Bill number

Nebraska LB 498

Sponsor

Brasch

Title

Provide for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against foreign defamation judgments

Status

The bill died in the Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

L.B. 498 would bar any Nebraska court from recognizing any foreign defamation judgment unless the court determined that the defamation law applied by the foreign court provided at least as much protection for freedom of speech and the press as would be provided under the Constitutions of the United States and Nebraska.

 

A court must also decline to recognize a foreign defamation judgment if:

(a) The defendant in the proceeding in the foreign court did not receive notice of the proceeding in sufficient time to enable such defendant to provide a defense;

(b) The judgment was obtained by fraud;

(c) The cause of action or claim for relief on which the judgment is based is repugnant to the public policy of this state;

(d) The judgment conflicts with another final and conclusive order;

(e) The proceeding in the foreign court was contrary to an agreement between the parties under which the dispute in question was to be settled otherwise than by proceedings in that court;

(f) In the case of jurisdiction based only on personal service, the foreign court was an inconvenient forum for the trial of the action; or

(g) The foreign jurisdiction where judgment was rendered would not give recognition to a similar judgment rendered in this state;

 

Any person against whom a foreign defamation judgment has been entered may bring a declaratory judgment or seek an injunction to bar enforcement. The action may be brought prior to the foreign adjudication being completed. 

 

Courts in the state are granted jurisdiction over anyone bringing a defamation action in a foreign territory by virtue of that action having been filed.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Nebraska LB 498

Brasch

Provide for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief against foreign defamation judgments

The bill died in the Committee on Judiciary.

L.B. 498 would bar any Nebraska court from recognizing any foreign defamation judgment unless the court determined that the defamation law applied by the foreign court provided at least as much protection for freedom of speech and the press as would be provided under the Constitutions of the United States and Nebraska.

 

A court must also decline to recognize a foreign defamation judgment if:

(a) The defendant in the proceeding in the foreign court did not receive notice of the proceeding in sufficient time to enable such defendant to provide a defense;

(b) The judgment was obtained by fraud;

(c) The cause of action or claim for relief on which the judgment is based is repugnant to the public policy of this state;

(d) The judgment conflicts with another final and conclusive order;

(e) The proceeding in the foreign court was contrary to an agreement between the parties under which the dispute in question was to be settled otherwise than by proceedings in that court;

(f) In the case of jurisdiction based only on personal service, the foreign court was an inconvenient forum for the trial of the action; or

(g) The foreign jurisdiction where judgment was rendered would not give recognition to a similar judgment rendered in this state;

 

Any person against whom a foreign defamation judgment has been entered may bring a declaratory judgment or seek an injunction to bar enforcement. The action may be brought prior to the foreign adjudication being completed. 

 

Courts in the state are granted jurisdiction over anyone bringing a defamation action in a foreign territory by virtue of that action having been filed.

New Hampshire

Bill number

New Hampshire HB 110

Sponsor

Haefner

Title

Requiring persons who record cruelty to livestock to report such cruelty and submit such recordings to a law enforcement agency.

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Environment and Agriculture.

Summary

H.B. 110 requires any person who captures images of animal cruelty committed against livestock to report such activities to law enforcement authorities and submit any unedited photographs or video recordings to the law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of the recording’s creation.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 110 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Hampshire HB 110

Haefner

Requiring persons who record cruelty to livestock to report such cruelty and submit such recordings to a law enforcement agency.

The bill died in the House Committee on Environment and Agriculture.

H.B. 110 requires any person who captures images of animal cruelty committed against livestock to report such activities to law enforcement authorities and submit any unedited photographs or video recordings to the law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of the recording’s creation.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 110 »

Bill number

New Hampshire HB 1144

Sponsor

Myler

Title

(New Title) establishing a committee to study information included in arrest records and access to information on the disposition of criminal cases.

Status

Signed by the Governor on July 11, 2014

Summary

H.B. 1144 requires the operator of a website that contains the name and personal information, including photographs or digital images, of a person charged with a crime to remove the person’s name and personal information, including photographs and digital images, within 15 days after receiving written notification from the person, or the person’s designee, that the person has been acquitted, the charge has been dismissed, or that a law enforcement agency has otherwise elected not to pursue criminal charges against the person.

 

The removal of the information shall be without charge to the person.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 1144 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Hampshire HB 1144

Myler

(New Title) establishing a committee to study information included in arrest records and access to information on the disposition of criminal cases.

Signed by the Governor on July 11, 2014

H.B. 1144 requires the operator of a website that contains the name and personal information, including photographs or digital images, of a person charged with a crime to remove the person’s name and personal information, including photographs and digital images, within 15 days after receiving written notification from the person, or the person’s designee, that the person has been acquitted, the charge has been dismissed, or that a law enforcement agency has otherwise elected not to pursue criminal charges against the person.

 

The removal of the information shall be without charge to the person.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 1144 »

New Jersey

Bill number

New Jersey A 3148

Sponsor

Singleton, Troy

Title

Prohibits advertising of certain products on websites to minors.

Status

The bill is in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs. New Jersey carries over legislation to 2015.

Summary

A.B. 3148 would bar any website, online service, online application or mobile application program directed to minors or that has actual knowledge that a minor is using the site, service or application from marketing or advertising to a minor any material that violates New Jersey’s “obscene for minors” law. 

 

The “obscene for minors” law does not comply with the Miller/Ginsberg standard for material harmful to minors.

 

“Market or advertise” is defined as, in an exchange for monetary compensation, to make a communication to one or more individuals, or to arrange for the dissemination to the public of communication, about a product or service the primary purpose of which is to encourage recipients of the communication to purchase or use the product or service.

 

An Internet website directed at minors is defined as, “an Internet website, online service, online application program, or mobile application program, or a portion thereof, that is created for the purpose of reaching an audience that is predominately comprised of minors, and is not intended for a more general audience comprised of adults.”

 

The legislation would also bar a list of other goods and services that are illegal for minors that may not be advertised or marketed too them.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Jersey A 3148

Singleton, Troy

Prohibits advertising of certain products on websites to minors.

The bill is in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs. New Jersey carries over legislation to 2015.

A.B. 3148 would bar any website, online service, online application or mobile application program directed to minors or that has actual knowledge that a minor is using the site, service or application from marketing or advertising to a minor any material that violates New Jersey’s “obscene for minors” law. 

 

The “obscene for minors” law does not comply with the Miller/Ginsberg standard for material harmful to minors.

 

“Market or advertise” is defined as, in an exchange for monetary compensation, to make a communication to one or more individuals, or to arrange for the dissemination to the public of communication, about a product or service the primary purpose of which is to encourage recipients of the communication to purchase or use the product or service.

 

An Internet website directed at minors is defined as, “an Internet website, online service, online application program, or mobile application program, or a portion thereof, that is created for the purpose of reaching an audience that is predominately comprised of minors, and is not intended for a more general audience comprised of adults.”

 

The legislation would also bar a list of other goods and services that are illegal for minors that may not be advertised or marketed too them.

Bill number

New Jersey A 3286

Sponsor

Gusciora, Reed

Title

Prohibits advertising of certain products to minors on websites; requires website operators to allow minors to delete posts.

Status

The bill is in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs. New Jersey carries over legislation to 2015.

Summary

A.B 3286 bars any website, online service or any application directed to minors that has actual knowledge a minor is using its service from marketing or advertising to minors a list of goods and services that are illegal for minors, or allow others to do so through the site, service or application.

 

Among the products material that could not be marketed or advertised to minors is “obscene for minors” material; however the definition of this material includes only one element of the Miller/Ginsberg standard.

 

An operator is deemed to have complied if he or she has taken reasonable steps to avoid marketing or advertising (or allowing others to do so) of the list of goods and services.

 

The bill also would require the site to allow minors to remove information the minor had posted. The post must be erased within 7 days.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 1256.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Jersey A 3286

Gusciora, Reed

Prohibits advertising of certain products to minors on websites; requires website operators to allow minors to delete posts.

The bill is in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs. New Jersey carries over legislation to 2015.

A.B 3286 bars any website, online service or any application directed to minors that has actual knowledge a minor is using its service from marketing or advertising to minors a list of goods and services that are illegal for minors, or allow others to do so through the site, service or application.

 

Among the products material that could not be marketed or advertised to minors is “obscene for minors” material; however the definition of this material includes only one element of the Miller/Ginsberg standard.

 

An operator is deemed to have complied if he or she has taken reasonable steps to avoid marketing or advertising (or allowing others to do so) of the list of goods and services.

 

The bill also would require the site to allow minors to remove information the minor had posted. The post must be erased within 7 days.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 1256.

Bill number

New Jersey ACR 64

Sponsor

Vainieri Huttle, Valerie

Title

Urges Congress to amend the “”Communication Decency Act of 1996.””

Status

The bill is in the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. New Jersey carries over legislation to 2015.

Summary

A.C.R. 64 calls on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to allow states to prosecute websites for violations of state laws.

 

This resolution is a response to a judge striking down a New Jersey law barring certain advertising on Backpage.com.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Jersey ACR 64

Vainieri Huttle, Valerie

Urges Congress to amend the “”Communication Decency Act of 1996.””

The bill is in the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. New Jersey carries over legislation to 2015.

A.C.R. 64 calls on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to allow states to prosecute websites for violations of state laws.

 

This resolution is a response to a judge striking down a New Jersey law barring certain advertising on Backpage.com.

Bill number

New Jersey SCR 34

Sponsor

Pou, Nellie

Title

Urges Congress to amend the “”Communication Decency Act of 1996.””

Status

The bill is in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. New Jersey carries over legislation to 2015.

Summary

S.C.R. 34 calls on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to allow states to prosecute websites for violations of state laws.

 

This resolution is a response to a judge striking down a New Jersey law barring certain advertising on Backpage.com.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New Jersey SCR 34

Pou, Nellie

Urges Congress to amend the “”Communication Decency Act of 1996.””

The bill is in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. New Jersey carries over legislation to 2015.

S.C.R. 34 calls on Congress to amend the Communications Decency Act to allow states to prosecute websites for violations of state laws.

 

This resolution is a response to a judge striking down a New Jersey law barring certain advertising on Backpage.com.

New York

Bill number

New York AB 2663

Sponsor

Wright (MS)

Title

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection.

Summary

A.B. 2663 bars the sale or rental to any minor of any video game that has been rated as mature or violent.

 

Mature or violent videos may contain, but are not limited to depictions descriptive of, advocating or glamorizing commission of violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, any form of sexual activity in a violent context or advocating or encouraging murder, violent racism, religious violence, morbid violence or the illegal use of drugs or alcohol. 

 

Video game retailers would be required to display any such video games in a location that is inaccessible to minors. 

 

Rating is defined as the standardized designation commonly used to inform parents about video games regarding listening and viewing by their children. 

 

This is a companion bill to S.B. 308.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 2663

Wright (MS)

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection.

A.B. 2663 bars the sale or rental to any minor of any video game that has been rated as mature or violent.

 

Mature or violent videos may contain, but are not limited to depictions descriptive of, advocating or glamorizing commission of violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, any form of sexual activity in a violent context or advocating or encouraging murder, violent racism, religious violence, morbid violence or the illegal use of drugs or alcohol. 

 

Video game retailers would be required to display any such video games in a location that is inaccessible to minors. 

 

Rating is defined as the standardized designation commonly used to inform parents about video games regarding listening and viewing by their children. 

 

This is a companion bill to S.B. 308.

Bill number

New York AB 2912

Sponsor

Ortiz

Title

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to establishing a two dollar surcharge on sexually oriented media; and to amend the state finance law, in

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Economic Development.

Summary

A.B. 2912 would impose a $2 surcharge on any magazine, video, DVD or Internet Website download f the content includes nudity or sexual content.

 

An identical version of this bill is introduced each legislative session in New York.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 2912

Ortiz

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to establishing a two dollar surcharge on sexually oriented media; and to amend the state finance law, in

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Economic Development.

A.B. 2912 would impose a $2 surcharge on any magazine, video, DVD or Internet Website download f the content includes nudity or sexual content.

 

An identical version of this bill is introduced each legislative session in New York.

Bill number

New York AB 2982

Sponsor

Ortiz (MS)

Title

AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to imposing an additional tax on certain items; and to amend the state finance law, in relation to creating the childho

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.

Summary

H.B. 2902 would impose a 1% sales tax on video games and video game equipment, the sale or rental of movies and movie tickets. The money raised by the tax would go to a state fund to fight obesity.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 2982

Ortiz (MS)

AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to imposing an additional tax on certain items; and to amend the state finance law, in relation to creating the childho

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means.

H.B. 2902 would impose a 1% sales tax on video games and video game equipment, the sale or rental of movies and movie tickets. The money raised by the tax would go to a state fund to fight obesity.

Bill number

New York AB 4921

Sponsor

Gabryszak (MS)

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree, promoting and possessing an obscene sexual performan

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

Summary

A.B. 4921 would bar the use of electronic communication to disseminate to a minor, or a police officer the person believed ot be a minor, material harmful to minors. The bill would re-enact section 235.21 of the New York code which was struck down in American Library Association v. Pataki.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 4921

Gabryszak (MS)

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree, promoting and possessing an obscene sexual performan

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

A.B. 4921 would bar the use of electronic communication to disseminate to a minor, or a police officer the person believed ot be a minor, material harmful to minors. The bill would re-enact section 235.21 of the New York code which was struck down in American Library Association v. Pataki.

Bill number

New York AB 6872

Sponsor

Rosa

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law and the criminal procedure law, in relation to creating the crimes of electronic stalking, and adding electronic stalking to design

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

Summary

A.B. 6872 would include New York’s law barring dissemination to a minor of material harmful to minors by the internet as a designated sex offense.

 

This law was found to violate the First Amendment in American Library Association v. Pataki.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 6872

Rosa

AN ACT to amend the penal law and the criminal procedure law, in relation to creating the crimes of electronic stalking, and adding electronic stalking to design

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

A.B. 6872 would include New York’s law barring dissemination to a minor of material harmful to minors by the internet as a designated sex offense.

 

This law was found to violate the First Amendment in American Library Association v. Pataki.

Bill number

New York AB 7843

Sponsor

Morelle

Title

AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to the right of publicity

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations.

Summary

A.B. 7843 creates a right of publicity for people who are deceased for 70 years from the time of death.  The bill includes the standard list of exemptions for non-commercial uses protected by the First Amendment.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 5196.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 7843

Morelle

AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to the right of publicity

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations.

A.B. 7843 creates a right of publicity for people who are deceased for 70 years from the time of death.  The bill includes the standard list of exemptions for non-commercial uses protected by the First Amendment.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 5196.

Bill number

New York AB 8204

Sponsor

Gunther

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in the first and second degrees

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

Summary

A.B. 8204 would make it a crime to intentionally disseminate an image of another person’s sexual or other intimate parts without explicit consent to do so and with an intent to harass, annoy or alarm that person.

 

Sexual or other intimate parts is not defined. 

 

Neither annoy nor alarm is defined.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 8204

Gunther

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in the first and second degrees

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

A.B. 8204 would make it a crime to intentionally disseminate an image of another person’s sexual or other intimate parts without explicit consent to do so and with an intent to harass, annoy or alarm that person.

 

Sexual or other intimate parts is not defined. 

 

Neither annoy nor alarm is defined.

Bill number

New York AB 8214

Sponsor

Braunstein (MS)

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of non-consensual disclosure of sexually explicit images

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

Summary

A.B. 8214 bars the intentional and knowing disclosure of any photographic image of another person without his or her consent if that person’s intimate parts are exposed or the person is engaged in sexual activity, and the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

A person who consents to a picture being taken or possessed in a private or confidential relationship retains a reasonable expectation of privacy beyond the end of that relationship. 

 

Disclosure is defined as any dissemination of the image including republication. 

 

Intimate parts are defined as naked genitals, pubic area, buttocks or the nipple of an adult female. 

 

The law would not apply to images of voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings. 

 

It is a companion to S.B. 5954.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 8214

Braunstein (MS)

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of non-consensual disclosure of sexually explicit images

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

A.B. 8214 bars the intentional and knowing disclosure of any photographic image of another person without his or her consent if that person’s intimate parts are exposed or the person is engaged in sexual activity, and the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

A person who consents to a picture being taken or possessed in a private or confidential relationship retains a reasonable expectation of privacy beyond the end of that relationship. 

 

Disclosure is defined as any dissemination of the image including republication. 

 

Intimate parts are defined as naked genitals, pubic area, buttocks or the nipple of an adult female. 

 

The law would not apply to images of voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings. 

 

It is a companion to S.B. 5954.

Bill number

New York AB 8311

Sponsor

Katz

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crimes of revenge exposure in the third degree, revenge exposure in the second degree and revenge

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

Summary

A.B. 8311 makes it a crime to knowingly disseminate, or cause to be disseminated, an image of another identifiable person who is nude or engaged in sexually explicit activity without the person’s consent and under circumstances in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

There is an enhanced penalty if the image is distributed with the intent to cause emotional harm or to obtain profit.

 

There is a further enhanced penalty for the person disseminating the image or a reproduction of the image if the image is received or obtained without the consent of the person who had first possession of the image.

 

Images that are wrongfully taken, obtained or withheld are subject to New York’s larceny law. Images depicting anyone less than 18 years old are subject to child pornography laws.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 8311

Katz

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crimes of revenge exposure in the third degree, revenge exposure in the second degree and revenge

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

A.B. 8311 makes it a crime to knowingly disseminate, or cause to be disseminated, an image of another identifiable person who is nude or engaged in sexually explicit activity without the person’s consent and under circumstances in which the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

There is an enhanced penalty if the image is distributed with the intent to cause emotional harm or to obtain profit.

 

There is a further enhanced penalty for the person disseminating the image or a reproduction of the image if the image is received or obtained without the consent of the person who had first possession of the image.

 

Images that are wrongfully taken, obtained or withheld are subject to New York’s larceny law. Images depicting anyone less than 18 years old are subject to child pornography laws.

Bill number

New York AB 8672

Sponsor

Titone

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree, promoting and possessing an obscene sexual performan

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

Summary

A.B. 8672 would amend the law struck down in American Library Association v. Pataki, barring dissemination to a minor of material harmful to minors by electronic communication, to apply to all electronic communication.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York AB 8672

Titone

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to disseminating indecent material to minors in the first degree, promoting and possessing an obscene sexual performan

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

A.B. 8672 would amend the law struck down in American Library Association v. Pataki, barring dissemination to a minor of material harmful to minors by electronic communication, to apply to all electronic communication.

Bill number

New York SB 308

Sponsor

ADAMS

Title

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection.

Summary

S.B. 308 bars the sale or rental to a minor of any video game that has been rated as mature or violent.

 

Mature or violent videos may contain, but are not limited to depictions descriptive of, advocating or glamorizing commission of violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, any form of sexual activity in a violent context or advocating or encouraging murder, violent racism, religious violence, morbid violence or the illegal use of drugs or alcohol.

 

Video game retailers would be required to display any such video games in a location that is inaccessible to minors.

 

Rating is defined as the standardized designation commonly used to inform parents about video games regarding listening and viewing by their children.

 

This is a companion bill to A.B. 2663.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York SB 308

ADAMS

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to prohibiting sale of certain video games to minors

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Consumer Protection.

S.B. 308 bars the sale or rental to a minor of any video game that has been rated as mature or violent.

 

Mature or violent videos may contain, but are not limited to depictions descriptive of, advocating or glamorizing commission of violent crime, suicide, sodomy, rape, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, any form of sexual activity in a violent context or advocating or encouraging murder, violent racism, religious violence, morbid violence or the illegal use of drugs or alcohol.

 

Video game retailers would be required to display any such video games in a location that is inaccessible to minors.

 

Rating is defined as the standardized designation commonly used to inform parents about video games regarding listening and viewing by their children.

 

This is a companion bill to A.B. 2663.

Bill number

New York SB 3036

Sponsor

DEFRANCISCO

Title

AN ACT to amend the military law, the civil rights law and the penal law, in relation to unauthorized use of names and images of members of the armed forces or

Status

The bill passed the Senate on March 24, 2014. The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations.

Summary

S.B. 3036 makes it a felony to use the name or image of any member of the armed service or organized militia of New York whether living or deceased for the purpose of advertising or trade without obtaining the written consent of the person or his or her surviving family.

 

There is no time limit after which permission would not be necessary.

 

S.B. 3036 also makes it a crime to use the image of any living person for advertising or trade purposes without the person’s written permission or the permission of their parent or guardian if the person is a minor.

 

There is no definition of advertising or “for trade purposes.”

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York SB 3036

DEFRANCISCO

AN ACT to amend the military law, the civil rights law and the penal law, in relation to unauthorized use of names and images of members of the armed forces or

The bill passed the Senate on March 24, 2014. The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Governmental Operations.

S.B. 3036 makes it a felony to use the name or image of any member of the armed service or organized militia of New York whether living or deceased for the purpose of advertising or trade without obtaining the written consent of the person or his or her surviving family.

 

There is no time limit after which permission would not be necessary.

 

S.B. 3036 also makes it a crime to use the image of any living person for advertising or trade purposes without the person’s written permission or the permission of their parent or guardian if the person is a minor.

 

There is no definition of advertising or “for trade purposes.”

Bill number

New York SB 5196

Sponsor

DEFRANCISCO

Title

AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to the right of publicity

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Codes.

Summary

S.B. 5196 creates a right of publicity for people who are deceased for 70 years from the time of death. The bill includes the standard list of exemptions for non-commercial uses protected by the First Amendment.

 

This bill is a companion to A.B. 7843.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York SB 5196

DEFRANCISCO

AN ACT to amend the civil rights law, in relation to the right of publicity

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Codes.

S.B. 5196 creates a right of publicity for people who are deceased for 70 years from the time of death. The bill includes the standard list of exemptions for non-commercial uses protected by the First Amendment.

 

This bill is a companion to A.B. 7843.

Bill number

New York SB 5946

Sponsor

BOYLE

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in the first and second degrees

Status

The Senate passed the bill on June 11, 2014. The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

Summary

A.B. 5946 would make it illegal to intentionally disseminate with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, an image or images of the sexual or other intimate parts of another person without explicit consent of the other person to do so.

 

Annoy, alarm and harass are not defined. Sexual or other intimate parts is also not defined in the bill.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York SB 5946

BOYLE

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to creating the crimes of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image in the first and second degrees

The Senate passed the bill on June 11, 2014. The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Codes.

A.B. 5946 would make it illegal to intentionally disseminate with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, an image or images of the sexual or other intimate parts of another person without explicit consent of the other person to do so.

 

Annoy, alarm and harass are not defined. Sexual or other intimate parts is also not defined in the bill.

Bill number

New York SB 5949

Sponsor

GRIFFO

Title

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of non-consensual disclosure of sexually explicit images

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Rules.

Summary

S.B. 5954 bars the intentional and knowing disclosure of any photographic image of a person without his or her consent if that person’s intimate parts are exposed or the person is engaged in sexual activity, and the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

A person who consents to a picture being taken or possessed in a private or confidential relationship retains a reasonable expectation of privacy beyond the end of that relationship.

 

Disclosure is defined as any dissemination of the image. The definition does not exclude republishing of the image.

 

Intimate parts are defined as naked genitals, pubic area, buttocks or the nipple of an adult female.

 

The law would not apply to images of voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings.

 

It is a companion to A.B. 8214.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

New York SB 5949

GRIFFO

AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to establishing the crime of non-consensual disclosure of sexually explicit images

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Rules.

S.B. 5954 bars the intentional and knowing disclosure of any photographic image of a person without his or her consent if that person’s intimate parts are exposed or the person is engaged in sexual activity, and the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

A person who consents to a picture being taken or possessed in a private or confidential relationship retains a reasonable expectation of privacy beyond the end of that relationship.

 

Disclosure is defined as any dissemination of the image. The definition does not exclude republishing of the image.

 

Intimate parts are defined as naked genitals, pubic area, buttocks or the nipple of an adult female.

 

The law would not apply to images of voluntary exposure in public or commercial settings.

 

It is a companion to A.B. 8214.

North Carolina

Bill number

North Carolina S 648

Sponsor

Brent Jackson

Title

NC Commerce Protection Act of 2014.

Status

Signed by the Governor on August 6, 2014.

Summary

S.B. 648 is similar to an ag-gag bill but except that it is not limited to agriculture. It requires anyone who has obtained a job by lying or omitting information on a job application who then captures images on the job must be turned over to law enforcement within 24 hours.

 

A violation is $10,000 fine for a first violation and $50,000 for subsequent violations.


The bill was amended to remove the gag provision entirely.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

North Carolina S 648

Brent Jackson

NC Commerce Protection Act of 2014.

Signed by the Governor on August 6, 2014.

S.B. 648 is similar to an ag-gag bill but except that it is not limited to agriculture. It requires anyone who has obtained a job by lying or omitting information on a job application who then captures images on the job must be turned over to law enforcement within 24 hours.

 

A violation is $10,000 fine for a first violation and $50,000 for subsequent violations.


The bill was amended to remove the gag provision entirely.

Bill number

North Carolina S 744

Sponsor

Harry Brown

Title

Appropriations Act of 2014.

Status

Signed by the Governor on August 7, 2014.

Summary

S.B. 744 would require any publisher or website operator to remove “criminal record information” within 15 days of a request by the person who is the subject of the information if that person had not been convicted of the crime.  If removal of the information is not possible, the publisher or website must print a “retraction.”  Failure to remove the information is subject to a fine of $100 per week per incident. 

 

If the information has not been removed within 45 days of the request, it creates the presumption of defamation of character.  The legislation is vague as to whether the fine would not be imposed if a retraction is published. 

 

“Criminal record information” is defined as:  (1) “Descriptions or notations of any arrests, any formal criminal charges, and the disposition of those criminal charges.  (2) Photographs of the person taken pursuant to an arrest or other involvement in the criminal justice system.  (3) Personal identifying information, including a person’s name, address, date of birth, photograph” or certain other data.  

 

There is no jurisdictional limitation in the bill. S.B. 744 would not require that either the person requesting that the information be removed or the website subject to the request be a resident of North Carolina.          


The bill was amended to remove this provision from the legislation prior to passage.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 744 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

North Carolina S 744

Harry Brown

Appropriations Act of 2014.

Signed by the Governor on August 7, 2014.

S.B. 744 would require any publisher or website operator to remove “criminal record information” within 15 days of a request by the person who is the subject of the information if that person had not been convicted of the crime.  If removal of the information is not possible, the publisher or website must print a “retraction.”  Failure to remove the information is subject to a fine of $100 per week per incident. 

 

If the information has not been removed within 45 days of the request, it creates the presumption of defamation of character.  The legislation is vague as to whether the fine would not be imposed if a retraction is published. 

 

“Criminal record information” is defined as:  (1) “Descriptions or notations of any arrests, any formal criminal charges, and the disposition of those criminal charges.  (2) Photographs of the person taken pursuant to an arrest or other involvement in the criminal justice system.  (3) Personal identifying information, including a person’s name, address, date of birth, photograph” or certain other data.  

 

There is no jurisdictional limitation in the bill. S.B. 744 would not require that either the person requesting that the information be removed or the website subject to the request be a resident of North Carolina.          


The bill was amended to remove this provision from the legislation prior to passage.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 744 »

Ohio

Bill number

Ohio HB 74

Sponsor

Anielski, M

Title

To expand the offenses of menacing by stalking and telecommunications harassment and to prohibit a person from knowingly causing another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm or mental or emotional distress to a member of the other person’s immediate family.

Status

The House passed the bill on December 4, 2013. The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

H.B. 74 would make it illegal to use any form of communication on multiple occasions with the purpose of causing mental distress to another person or that person’s family household members.

 

“Mental distress” means: (a) Any mental illness or condition that involves some temporary substantial incapacity; or (b) Any mental illness or condition that would normally require psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services, whether or not any person requested or received those services.

 

The bill was amended to include a limited exception for journalists but it did not include book authors.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Ohio HB 74

Anielski, M

To expand the offenses of menacing by stalking and telecommunications harassment and to prohibit a person from knowingly causing another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm or mental or emotional distress to a member of the other person’s immediate family.

The House passed the bill on December 4, 2013. The bill died in the Senate.

H.B. 74 would make it illegal to use any form of communication on multiple occasions with the purpose of causing mental distress to another person or that person’s family household members.

 

“Mental distress” means: (a) Any mental illness or condition that involves some temporary substantial incapacity; or (b) Any mental illness or condition that would normally require psychiatric treatment, psychological treatment, or other mental health services, whether or not any person requested or received those services.

 

The bill was amended to include a limited exception for journalists but it did not include book authors.

Oklahoma

Bill number

Oklahoma HB 2072

Sponsor

Fisher

Title

Civil procedure; Rachel’s Law; prohibiting recognition or enforcement of foreign defamation judgments; effective date.

Status

Signed by the Governor on May 14, 2013.

Summary

H.B. 2072 is a libel tourism bill.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Oklahoma HB 2072

Fisher

Civil procedure; Rachel’s Law; prohibiting recognition or enforcement of foreign defamation judgments; effective date.

Signed by the Governor on May 14, 2013.

H.B. 2072 is a libel tourism bill.

Pennsylvania

Bill number

Pennsylvania HB 207

Sponsor

GODSHALL

Title

An Act amending Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for autopsies.

Status

The House passed the bill on November 20, 2013. The bill died in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Summary

H.B. 207 bars access to crime scene photos.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania HB 207

GODSHALL

An Act amending Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for autopsies.

The House passed the bill on November 20, 2013. The bill died in the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

H.B. 207 bars access to crime scene photos.

Bill number

Pennsylvania HB 683

Sponsor

HALUSKA

Title

An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in arson, criminal mischief and other property destruction, providing for the offense of interfering with agricultural operations.

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 683 is an ag-gag bill.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania HB 683

HALUSKA

An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in arson, criminal mischief and other property destruction, providing for the offense of interfering with agricultural operations.

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 683 is an ag-gag bill.

Bill number

Pennsylvania HB 1901

Sponsor

DAVIS

Title

An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in assault, providing for intimate partner harassment.

Status

PN 2811 Referred to JUDICIARY – 12/16/2013

Summary

H.B. 1901 makes it a crime to show a picture to another person of “an intimate partner” who is nude or engaged in a sexual act for no legitimate purpose if done with the intent to harass, annoy or offend the person in the image and it is done without that person’s consent.

 

“Nude” is defined as any showing of the genitals, buttocks, pubic area or a female breast below the top of the areola that is less than opaquely covered.

 

“Intimate partner” is not defined. This bill is a companion to S.B. 1167.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania HB 1901

DAVIS

An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in assault, providing for intimate partner harassment.

PN 2811 Referred to JUDICIARY – 12/16/2013

H.B. 1901 makes it a crime to show a picture to another person of “an intimate partner” who is nude or engaged in a sexual act for no legitimate purpose if done with the intent to harass, annoy or offend the person in the image and it is done without that person’s consent.

 

“Nude” is defined as any showing of the genitals, buttocks, pubic area or a female breast below the top of the areola that is less than opaquely covered.

 

“Intimate partner” is not defined. This bill is a companion to S.B. 1167.

Bill number

Pennsylvania HB 2107

Sponsor

MURT

Title

An Act amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in definition of sexual offenses, providing for unlawful dissemination of intimate image; and, in particular rights and immunities, providing for damages in actions for unlawful dissemination

Status

Signed by the Governor on July 9, 2014

Summary

H.B. 2107 bars the dissemination of nude images with the intent to cause emotional distress.

 

“Emotional distress” is defined as “a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish.”

 

It is an affirmative defense that the picture was disseminated with the consent of the person depicted.

 

A person is subject to this legislation if either he or she or the person depicted in the image is located within Pennsylvania.

 

A violation would be subject to up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

 

The legislation also creates a cause of action to allow the person depicted in the image to sue for actual damages for loss of money, property or injury to reputation. The court may treble the damages at its discretion. The person may also recover legal fees and court costs and any additional relief the court may deem necessary.


The bill was amended to include as an element the intent to harass, annoy or alarm a current or former sexual or intimate partner rather than an intent to cause emotion distress to the person depicted.

 

It was also amended to categorize a violation as a second degree misdemeanor (rather than a third degree crime in the original bill.)

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania HB 2107

MURT

An Act amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in definition of sexual offenses, providing for unlawful dissemination of intimate image; and, in particular rights and immunities, providing for damages in actions for unlawful dissemination

Signed by the Governor on July 9, 2014

H.B. 2107 bars the dissemination of nude images with the intent to cause emotional distress.

 

“Emotional distress” is defined as “a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish.”

 

It is an affirmative defense that the picture was disseminated with the consent of the person depicted.

 

A person is subject to this legislation if either he or she or the person depicted in the image is located within Pennsylvania.

 

A violation would be subject to up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

 

The legislation also creates a cause of action to allow the person depicted in the image to sue for actual damages for loss of money, property or injury to reputation. The court may treble the damages at its discretion. The person may also recover legal fees and court costs and any additional relief the court may deem necessary.


The bill was amended to include as an element the intent to harass, annoy or alarm a current or former sexual or intimate partner rather than an intent to cause emotion distress to the person depicted.

 

It was also amended to categorize a violation as a second degree misdemeanor (rather than a third degree crime in the original bill.)

Bill number

Pennsylvania HB 2533

Sponsor

VEREB

Title

An Act amending the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act, providing for revictimization relief.

Status

The bill died in the House. Its companion bill, S.B. 508, was signed by the Governor on October 21, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 2533 and S.B. 508 allow a victim of a personal injury crime to bring a civil action against any offender to obtain injunctive relief for “conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.”  “Conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim” is defined as anything that causes a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish. 

 

They also allow the Attorney General or a district attorney to sue on behalf of the crime victim. 

 

The cause of action is not limited to the term of incarceration.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2533 and S.B. 508 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania HB 2533

VEREB

An Act amending the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act, providing for revictimization relief.

The bill died in the House. Its companion bill, S.B. 508, was signed by the Governor on October 21, 2014.

H.B. 2533 and S.B. 508 allow a victim of a personal injury crime to bring a civil action against any offender to obtain injunctive relief for “conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.”  “Conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim” is defined as anything that causes a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish. 

 

They also allow the Attorney General or a district attorney to sue on behalf of the crime victim. 

 

The cause of action is not limited to the term of incarceration.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2533 and S.B. 508 »

Bill number

Pennsylvania SB 150

Sponsor

PILEGGI

Title

An Act amending Title 44 (Law and Justice) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in DNA data and testing, further providing for policy, for definitions, for powers and duties of State Police, for State DNA Data Base, for State DNA Data Bank, for State Police recommendation of additional offenses, for procedural compat

Status

The Senate passed the bill on June 18, 2013. The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.B. 150 would require anyone convicted of felony distribution of obscene material or of material harmful to minors would be required to give a DNA sample to the state to be kept in a DNA data base.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania SB 150

PILEGGI

An Act amending Title 44 (Law and Justice) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in DNA data and testing, further providing for policy, for definitions, for powers and duties of State Police, for State DNA Data Base, for State DNA Data Bank, for State Police recommendation of additional offenses, for procedural compat

The Senate passed the bill on June 18, 2013. The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

S.B. 150 would require anyone convicted of felony distribution of obscene material or of material harmful to minors would be required to give a DNA sample to the state to be kept in a DNA data base.

Bill number

Pennsylvania SB 508

Sponsor

PRIME SPONSOR WITHDREW

Title

An Act amending the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act, providing for revictimization relief.

Status

Signed by the Governor on October 21, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 2533 and S.B. 508 allow a victim of a personal injury crime to bring a civil action against any offender to obtain injunctive relief for “conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.”  “Conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim” is defined as anything that causes a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish. 

 

They also allow the Attorney General or a district attorney to sue on behalf of the crime victim. 

 

The cause of action is not limited to the term of incarceration.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2533 and S.B. 508 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania SB 508

PRIME SPONSOR WITHDREW

An Act amending the act of November 24, 1998 (P.L.882, No.111), known as the Crime Victims Act, providing for revictimization relief.

Signed by the Governor on October 21, 2014.

H.B. 2533 and S.B. 508 allow a victim of a personal injury crime to bring a civil action against any offender to obtain injunctive relief for “conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.”  “Conduct which perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim” is defined as anything that causes a temporary or permanent state of mental anguish. 

 

They also allow the Attorney General or a district attorney to sue on behalf of the crime victim. 

 

The cause of action is not limited to the term of incarceration.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2533 and S.B. 508 »

Bill number

Pennsylvania SB 1167

Sponsor

SCHWANK

Title

An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in assault, providing for the offense of intimate partner harassment.

Status

The Senate passed the bill on January 28, 2014. The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.B. 1167 makes it a crime to show a picture to another person of “an intimate partner” who is nude or engaged in a sexual act for no legitimate purpose and with the intent to harass, annoy or offend the “intimate partner” in the image and done without his or her consent.

 

“Nude” is defined as any showing of the genital, buttocks, pubic area or a female breast below the top of the areola less than opaquely covered.

 

“Intimate partner” is not defined. This bill is a companion to H.B. 1901.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania SB 1167

SCHWANK

An Act amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in assault, providing for the offense of intimate partner harassment.

The Senate passed the bill on January 28, 2014. The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

S.B. 1167 makes it a crime to show a picture to another person of “an intimate partner” who is nude or engaged in a sexual act for no legitimate purpose and with the intent to harass, annoy or offend the “intimate partner” in the image and done without his or her consent.

 

“Nude” is defined as any showing of the genital, buttocks, pubic area or a female breast below the top of the areola less than opaquely covered.

 

“Intimate partner” is not defined. This bill is a companion to H.B. 1901.

Bill number

Pennsylvania SR 6

Sponsor

GREENLEAF

Title

A Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to study the issue of violence prevention, to establish an advisory committee to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the underlying causes of violent crime, including mass shootings, and to report to the Senate with its findings and recommendations.

Status

The bill died in the House.

Summary

S.R. 6 directs the Joint State Government Commission to study violence prevention and the underlying causes of violent crime. It does not specifically focus on media.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Pennsylvania SR 6

GREENLEAF

A Resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to study the issue of violence prevention, to establish an advisory committee to conduct a thorough and comprehensive analysis of the underlying causes of violent crime, including mass shootings, and to report to the Senate with its findings and recommendations.

The bill died in the House.

S.R. 6 directs the Joint State Government Commission to study violence prevention and the underlying causes of violent crime. It does not specifically focus on media.

Rhode Island

Bill number

Rhode Island H 5570

Sponsor

Martin

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES – COMPUTER CRIME (would amend various chapters of the general laws to create additional offenses relating to internet activity)

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 5570 would criminalize the knowing and intentional use of a computer or electronic device to disseminate to a minor a depiction of sexually explicit nudity or conduct.

 

A violation of the legislation would be a felony subject to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.

 

It would also bar dissemination of any image of sexual activity or the intimate areas of another person without the consent of all people in the picture even if the person is not engaging in sexual activity or does not have his or her intimate area visible.

 

It is a companion to S.B. 550.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 5570 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Rhode Island H 5570

Martin

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES – COMPUTER CRIME (would amend various chapters of the general laws to create additional offenses relating to internet activity)

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 5570 would criminalize the knowing and intentional use of a computer or electronic device to disseminate to a minor a depiction of sexually explicit nudity or conduct.

 

A violation of the legislation would be a felony subject to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.

 

It would also bar dissemination of any image of sexual activity or the intimate areas of another person without the consent of all people in the picture even if the person is not engaging in sexual activity or does not have his or her intimate area visible.

 

It is a companion to S.B. 550.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 5570 »

Bill number

Rhode Island H 7409

Sponsor

Silva

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS – REGULATION OF OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT (would empower the public utilities commission to promulgate regulations concerning the display of objectionable content)

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 7409 would give the Public Utility Commission the authority to promulgate reasonable regulations for the display of “objectionable content.”  The regulations may include “adequate” warnings for material deemed “not suitable for viewing by children” and restrictions on material deemed by the commission to be indecent.

 

The bill does not define any of these terms.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 7409 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Rhode Island H 7409

Silva

AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS – REGULATION OF OBJECTIONABLE CONTENT (would empower the public utilities commission to promulgate regulations concerning the display of objectionable content)

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 7409 would give the Public Utility Commission the authority to promulgate reasonable regulations for the display of “objectionable content.”  The regulations may include “adequate” warnings for material deemed “not suitable for viewing by children” and restrictions on material deemed by the commission to be indecent.

 

The bill does not define any of these terms.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 7409 »

Bill number

Rhode Island H 7766

Sponsor

Mattiello

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — CHILDREN (This act would make it a felony to knowingly disseminate the electronic transmission of indecent materials to minors and would subject those offenders to the Sexual Offender Registration and Community Notification Act.)

Status

Signed by the Governor on July 3, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 7766 would create section 11-9-1.5, which would criminalize the knowing and intentional use of a computer or electronic device to disseminate depictions of graphic or lascivious nudity or graphic sexual conduct to a person known or believed to be a minor.

 

A violation of the legislation would be a felony subject to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.  Any person convicted of violating 11-9-1.5 would have to file with the state as a sex offender.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 2610.

 

In May, the bill was subsequently amended to apply only to material that is obscene for adults.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 7766 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Rhode Island H 7766

Mattiello

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES — CHILDREN (This act would make it a felony to knowingly disseminate the electronic transmission of indecent materials to minors and would subject those offenders to the Sexual Offender Registration and Community Notification Act.)

Signed by the Governor on July 3, 2014.

H.B. 7766 would create section 11-9-1.5, which would criminalize the knowing and intentional use of a computer or electronic device to disseminate depictions of graphic or lascivious nudity or graphic sexual conduct to a person known or believed to be a minor.

 

A violation of the legislation would be a felony subject to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.  Any person convicted of violating 11-9-1.5 would have to file with the state as a sex offender.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 2610.

 

In May, the bill was subsequently amended to apply only to material that is obscene for adults.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 7766 »

Bill number

Rhode Island S 550

Sponsor

Lombardi

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES – COMPUTER CRIME (would amend various chapters of the general laws to create additional offenses relating to internet activity.)

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.B. 550 would criminalize the knowing and intentional use of a computer or electronic device to disseminate to a minor a depiction of sexually explicit nudity or conduct.

 

A violation of the legislation would be a felony subject to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.

 

It would also bar dissemination of any image of sexual activity or the intimate areas’ of another person without the consent of all people in the picture regardless of whether it is that person engaging in sexual activity or with an intimate area visible.

 

It is a companion to H.B. 5570.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 550 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Rhode Island S 550

Lombardi

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES – COMPUTER CRIME (would amend various chapters of the general laws to create additional offenses relating to internet activity.)

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

S.B. 550 would criminalize the knowing and intentional use of a computer or electronic device to disseminate to a minor a depiction of sexually explicit nudity or conduct.

 

A violation of the legislation would be a felony subject to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.

 

It would also bar dissemination of any image of sexual activity or the intimate areas’ of another person without the consent of all people in the picture regardless of whether it is that person engaging in sexual activity or with an intimate area visible.

 

It is a companion to H.B. 5570.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 550 »

Bill number

Rhode Island S 2610

Sponsor

Lombardi

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES (This act would make it a felony to knowingly disseminate the electronic transmission of indecent materials to minors and would subject those offenders to the Sexual Offender Registration and Community Notification Act.)

Status

Signed by the Governor on July 3, 2014

Summary

S.B. 2610 would create section 11-9-1.5, which would criminalize the knowing and intentional use of a computer or electronic device to disseminate depictions of graphic or lascivious nudity or graphic sexual conduct to a person known or believed to be a minor. 

 

A violation of the legislation would be a felony subject to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.  Any person convicted of violating 11-9-1.5 would have to file with the state as a sex offender.

 

The bill is a companion to H.B. 7766

 

In June, the bill was amended so it only applied to the dissemination of material that was obscene for adults.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 2610 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Rhode Island S 2610

Lombardi

AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL OFFENSES (This act would make it a felony to knowingly disseminate the electronic transmission of indecent materials to minors and would subject those offenders to the Sexual Offender Registration and Community Notification Act.)

Signed by the Governor on July 3, 2014

S.B. 2610 would create section 11-9-1.5, which would criminalize the knowing and intentional use of a computer or electronic device to disseminate depictions of graphic or lascivious nudity or graphic sexual conduct to a person known or believed to be a minor. 

 

A violation of the legislation would be a felony subject to five years in prison, a fine of $5,000 or both.  Any person convicted of violating 11-9-1.5 would have to file with the state as a sex offender.

 

The bill is a companion to H.B. 7766

 

In June, the bill was amended so it only applied to the dissemination of material that was obscene for adults.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 2610 »

South Carolina

Bill number

South Carolina H 4593

Sponsor

Clemmons

Title

Slander

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 4593 would extend the statute of limitations for filing a libel or defamation action to two years from the time the party making the claim discovered or should have discovered the speech that is the basis for the cause of the action.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

South Carolina H 4593

Clemmons

Slander

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 4593 would extend the statute of limitations for filing a libel or defamation action to two years from the time the party making the claim discovered or should have discovered the speech that is the basis for the cause of the action.

Bill number

South Carolina S 468

Sponsor

Fair

Title

Foreign defamation judgment

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

Libel Tourism protection bill.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

South Carolina S 468

Fair

Foreign defamation judgment

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Libel Tourism protection bill.

Tennessee

Bill number

Tennessee HB 1191

Sponsor

Holt

Title

Animal Cruelty and Abuse

Status

The bill died in the House. Its companion bill, S.B. 1248, passed the legislature and was vetoed by the Governor on May 13, 2013.

Summary

H.B. 1191 would require anyone who takes a picture or video of an act that violates the state’s cruelty to animals laws must turn all of the pictures and video over to the police within 24 hours.

 

It is a companion to S.B. 1248.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Tennessee HB 1191

Holt

Animal Cruelty and Abuse

The bill died in the House. Its companion bill, S.B. 1248, passed the legislature and was vetoed by the Governor on May 13, 2013.

H.B. 1191 would require anyone who takes a picture or video of an act that violates the state’s cruelty to animals laws must turn all of the pictures and video over to the police within 24 hours.

 

It is a companion to S.B. 1248.

Bill number

Tennessee HB 2438

Sponsor

Sparks

Title

Criminal Offenses

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Criminal Justice.

Summary

H.B. 2438 would broaden the definition of a person who could be liable for a violation of Tennessee’s display statute to specifically include “the retail store owner, distributor, supplier, or wholesaler of the material, or an employee or any such named person.”

 

It also increases the severity of the crime to a Class A misdemeanor from a Class C.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Tennessee HB 2438

Sparks

Criminal Offenses

The bill died in the House Committee on Criminal Justice.

H.B. 2438 would broaden the definition of a person who could be liable for a violation of Tennessee’s display statute to specifically include “the retail store owner, distributor, supplier, or wholesaler of the material, or an employee or any such named person.”

 

It also increases the severity of the crime to a Class A misdemeanor from a Class C.

Bill number

Tennessee SB 1248

Sponsor

Gresham

Title

Animal Cruelty and Abuse

Status

Vetoed by the Governor on May 13, 2013.

Summary

S.B. 1248 would require anyone who takes a picture or video of an act that violates the state’s cruelty to animals laws must turn the all pictures and video over to the police within 24 hours.

 

It is a companion to H.B. 1191.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Tennessee SB 1248

Gresham

Animal Cruelty and Abuse

Vetoed by the Governor on May 13, 2013.

S.B. 1248 would require anyone who takes a picture or video of an act that violates the state’s cruelty to animals laws must turn the all pictures and video over to the police within 24 hours.

 

It is a companion to H.B. 1191.

Bill number

Tennessee SB 2449

Sponsor

Summerville

Title

Criminal Offenses

Status

The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

S.B. 2449 would broaden the definition of a person who could be liable for a violation of Tennessee’s display statute to specifically include “the retail store owner, distributor, supplier, or wholesaler of the material, or an employee or any such named person.”

 

It also increases the severity of the crime to a Class A misdemeanor from a Class C.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Tennessee SB 2449

Summerville

Criminal Offenses

The bill died in the Senate.

S.B. 2449 would broaden the definition of a person who could be liable for a violation of Tennessee’s display statute to specifically include “the retail store owner, distributor, supplier, or wholesaler of the material, or an employee or any such named person.”

 

It also increases the severity of the crime to a Class A misdemeanor from a Class C.

Texas

Bill number

Texas HB 101

Sponsor

Guillen

Title

Relating to the creation of the offense of unlawful disclosure of certain visual material.

Status

The bill was pre-filed for the 2015 Legislative Session on November 10, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 101 bars dissemination of nude images without the consent of the person depicted in the image. 

 

There’s no exception for newsworthy images.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas HB 101

Guillen

Relating to the creation of the offense of unlawful disclosure of certain visual material.

The bill was pre-filed for the 2015 Legislative Session on November 10, 2014.

H.B. 101 bars dissemination of nude images without the consent of the person depicted in the image. 

 

There’s no exception for newsworthy images.

Bill number

Texas HB 320

Sponsor

Keough

Title

Relating to the clarification of the offense of online sexual solicitation of a minor.

Status

The bill was pre-filed for the 2015 Legislative Session on November 17, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 320 bars any sexually explicit communication or distribution of sexually explicit material between an adult and a minor over the Internet, by email or text message. 

 

“Sexually explicit” means any communication which relates to or describes “sexual conduct.”

 

“Sexual conduct” is defined as sexual contact, actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals, the anus, or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.

 

There is no reference to the three prong Miller/Ginsberg test.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Texas HB 320

Keough

Relating to the clarification of the offense of online sexual solicitation of a minor.

The bill was pre-filed for the 2015 Legislative Session on November 17, 2014.

H.B. 320 bars any sexually explicit communication or distribution of sexually explicit material between an adult and a minor over the Internet, by email or text message. 

 

“Sexually explicit” means any communication which relates to or describes “sexual conduct.”

 

“Sexual conduct” is defined as sexual contact, actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals, the anus, or any portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.

 

There is no reference to the three prong Miller/Ginsberg test.

United States

Bill number

United States HR 287

Sponsor

Matheson, Jim

Title

Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

Summary

H.R. 287 would make it unlawful to sell or rent any video game rated Adults Only to anyone less than 18 years old and to sell or rent any video game rated Mature to anyone less than 17 years old.

 

It would also be unlawful to sell or rent any video game that does have a rating label clearly displayed on its packaging signifying a rating determined by the ESRB.

 

Any retailer that sells video games would be required to display in a clear and conspicuous location information about the ESRB rating system.

 

The Federal Trade Commission would be given the authority to enforce this law. Any violation would be deemed an unfair or deceptive act or practice and subject to a fine of up to $5,000.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

United States HR 287

Matheson, Jim

Video Games Ratings Enforcement Act

The bill died in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

H.R. 287 would make it unlawful to sell or rent any video game rated Adults Only to anyone less than 18 years old and to sell or rent any video game rated Mature to anyone less than 17 years old.

 

It would also be unlawful to sell or rent any video game that does have a rating label clearly displayed on its packaging signifying a rating determined by the ESRB.

 

Any retailer that sells video games would be required to display in a clear and conspicuous location information about the ESRB rating system.

 

The Federal Trade Commission would be given the authority to enforce this law. Any violation would be deemed an unfair or deceptive act or practice and subject to a fine of up to $5,000.

Bill number

United States HR 4225

Sponsor

Wagner, Ann

Title

SAVE Act of 2014

Status

The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 20, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

H.R. 4225 would make it a crime to distribute or knowingly benefit from advertising that offers a commercial sex act. A violation is subject to up to five years in prison, a fine or both.

 

This would include dissemination of any material that included ads such as alternative newspapers.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

United States HR 4225

Wagner, Ann

SAVE Act of 2014

The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 20, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

H.R. 4225 would make it a crime to distribute or knowingly benefit from advertising that offers a commercial sex act. A violation is subject to up to five years in prison, a fine or both.

 

This would include dissemination of any material that included ads such as alternative newspapers.

Bill number

United States HR 4660

Sponsor

Wolf, Frank R.

Title

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

Status

The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 30, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

H.R. 4660 includes $75,000,000 in funding for a comprehensive school safety initiative, which is a research-focused initiative led by the National Institute of Justice. Of the funds provided, not less than half must be used for research about exposure to media violence, including violent video games, and on gaps in the nation’s mental health system.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

United States HR 4660

Wolf, Frank R.

Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2015

The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 30, 2014. The bill died in the Senate.

H.R. 4660 includes $75,000,000 in funding for a comprehensive school safety initiative, which is a research-focused initiative led by the National Institute of Justice. Of the funds provided, not less than half must be used for research about exposure to media violence, including violent video games, and on gaps in the nation’s mental health system.

Bill number

United States S 134

Sponsor

Rockefeller, John D., IV

Title

Violent Content Research Act of 2013

Status

The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

S. 134 would direct the National Academy of Science (NAS) to conduct a study on violent video games and violent video programming to determine whether either medium: (i) causes children to act aggressively or causes other measurable harm to children; (ii) has a disproportionately harmful effect on children already prone to aggressive behavior or on other identifiable groups of children; and (iii) has a harmful effect that is distinguishable from any negative effects produced by other types of media. The study would then examine whether any harm identified has a direct and long-lasting impact on a child’s well-being.

 

The study must also review whether current or emerging characteristics of video games have a unique impact on minors because they are interactive.

 

The study shall identify gaps in the current state of research which, if closed, could provide additional information regarding any causal connection between media and behavior.

 

NAS is given 15 months to submit the report to Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

United States S 134

Rockefeller, John D., IV

Violent Content Research Act of 2013

The bill died in the Senate.

S. 134 would direct the National Academy of Science (NAS) to conduct a study on violent video games and violent video programming to determine whether either medium: (i) causes children to act aggressively or causes other measurable harm to children; (ii) has a disproportionately harmful effect on children already prone to aggressive behavior or on other identifiable groups of children; and (iii) has a harmful effect that is distinguishable from any negative effects produced by other types of media. The study would then examine whether any harm identified has a direct and long-lasting impact on a child’s well-being.

 

The study must also review whether current or emerging characteristics of video games have a unique impact on minors because they are interactive.

 

The study shall identify gaps in the current state of research which, if closed, could provide additional information regarding any causal connection between media and behavior.

 

NAS is given 15 months to submit the report to Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Bill number

United States S 150

Sponsor

Feinstein, Dianne

Title

Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

Status

The bill died in the Senate.

Summary

S. 150 includes language calling on the National Institute of Justice to do social science research on the cause of violence including video games.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

United States S 150

Feinstein, Dianne

Assault Weapons Ban of 2013

The bill died in the Senate.

S. 150 includes language calling on the National Institute of Justice to do social science research on the cause of violence including video games.

Utah

Bill number

Utah HB 71

Sponsor

Poulson, M.

Title

Distribution of Intimate Images

Status

Signed by the Governor on March 29, 2014.

Summary

H.B. 71 bars the knowing or intentional dissemination of an “intimate image” if the person depicted has not given consent to the person disseminating the image and the image was created or provided in circumstances in which the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

“Intimate image” is an image that depicts the genitals or pubic area or female breast if less than opaquely covered or actual or simulated sexual conduct.

 

There is an exception for 1) law enforcement, lawful and generally accepted medical practices, 2) for images where the person depicted voluntarily allows public exposure or 3) images captured in a lawful commercial setting.

 

Amended 2/6 to add requirement that the images must be distributed with an intent to cause severe emotional distress or harm and actual harm occurs as a result of the pictures being distributed.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Utah HB 71

Poulson, M.

Distribution of Intimate Images

Signed by the Governor on March 29, 2014.

H.B. 71 bars the knowing or intentional dissemination of an “intimate image” if the person depicted has not given consent to the person disseminating the image and the image was created or provided in circumstances in which the person depicted had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 

“Intimate image” is an image that depicts the genitals or pubic area or female breast if less than opaquely covered or actual or simulated sexual conduct.

 

There is an exception for 1) law enforcement, lawful and generally accepted medical practices, 2) for images where the person depicted voluntarily allows public exposure or 3) images captured in a lawful commercial setting.

 

Amended 2/6 to add requirement that the images must be distributed with an intent to cause severe emotional distress or harm and actual harm occurs as a result of the pictures being distributed.

Vermont

Bill number

Vermont HB 158

Sponsor

Conquest

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO DISORDERLY CONDUCT

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 158 would make it a disorderly conduct crime if a person makes loud or unreasonable noise that would disturb a person of average sensibilities.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Vermont HB 158

Conquest

AN ACT RELATING TO DISORDERLY CONDUCT

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 158 would make it a disorderly conduct crime if a person makes loud or unreasonable noise that would disturb a person of average sensibilities.

Bill number

Vermont HB 741

Sponsor

O’Brien

Title

AN ACT RELATING TO MAKING ILLEGAL THREATENING AND HARASSING CALLS AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS THAT ARE NOT ANONYMOUS

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

H.B. 741 would make it illegal to use electronic communication to contact another person with an intent to annoy and make a suggestion, request or proposal that is lascivious or indecent.

 

The intent to annoy may be inferred from the use of lewd or lascivious language.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Vermont HB 741

O’Brien

AN ACT RELATING TO MAKING ILLEGAL THREATENING AND HARASSING CALLS AND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS THAT ARE NOT ANONYMOUS

The bill died in the House Committee on Judiciary.

H.B. 741 would make it illegal to use electronic communication to contact another person with an intent to annoy and make a suggestion, request or proposal that is lascivious or indecent.

 

The intent to annoy may be inferred from the use of lewd or lascivious language.

Washington

Bill number

Washington HB 1051

Sponsor

Angel

Title

Authorizing the sale of rights to name or rename state transportation facilities.

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Transportation.

Summary

H.B. 1051 would allow the sale of naming rights for parts of the state transportation system but would specifically bar the sale of those rights to any movie rated NC-17 or video game rated M or AO.

 

Companion to S.B. 5584.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Washington HB 1051

Angel

Authorizing the sale of rights to name or rename state transportation facilities.

The bill died in the House Committee on Transportation.

H.B. 1051 would allow the sale of naming rights for parts of the state transportation system but would specifically bar the sale of those rights to any movie rated NC-17 or video game rated M or AO.

 

Companion to S.B. 5584.

Bill number

Washington SB 5584

Sponsor

Benton

Title

Authorizing the sale of rights to name or rename state transportation facilities.

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Transportation.

Summary

S.B. 5584 would allow the sale of naming rights for parts of the state transportation system but would specifically bar the sale of those rights to any movie rated NC-17 or video game rated M or AO.

 

Companion to H.B. 1051

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Washington SB 5584

Benton

Authorizing the sale of rights to name or rename state transportation facilities.

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Transportation.

S.B. 5584 would allow the sale of naming rights for parts of the state transportation system but would specifically bar the sale of those rights to any movie rated NC-17 or video game rated M or AO.

 

Companion to H.B. 1051

West Virginia

Bill number

West Virginia HB 2119

Sponsor

Azinger

Title

Imposing an excise tax on the sale or rental of obscene materials

Status

The bill died in the House Committee on Finance.

Summary

H.B. 2119 would impose a $1 sales tax on any obscene material that is sold or rented.  Retailers must submit the tax to the state on a quarterly basis.  Each retailer must also keep a complete and accurate list of all such sales or rentals and any other records the Tax Commission shall deem necessary.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2119 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

West Virginia HB 2119

Azinger

Imposing an excise tax on the sale or rental of obscene materials

The bill died in the House Committee on Finance.

H.B. 2119 would impose a $1 sales tax on any obscene material that is sold or rented.  Retailers must submit the tax to the state on a quarterly basis.  Each retailer must also keep a complete and accurate list of all such sales or rentals and any other records the Tax Commission shall deem necessary.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on H.B. 2119 »

Bill number

West Virginia SB 18

Sponsor

Fitzsimmons

Title

Redefining and renaming “”obscene matter””

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

Summary

S.B. 18 would amend an existing law barring dissemination to minors of adult obscenity to prohibit the dissemination of “harmful matter.”

 

“Harmful matter is defined as any material containing any representation or image of a person which depicts sexually explicit nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors, and any matter containing explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual excitement, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors.

 

The Miller/Ginsberg three prong test for material harmful to minors is not included in any West Virginia statute.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

West Virginia SB 18

Fitzsimmons

Redefining and renaming “”obscene matter””

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Judiciary.

S.B. 18 would amend an existing law barring dissemination to minors of adult obscenity to prohibit the dissemination of “harmful matter.”

 

“Harmful matter is defined as any material containing any representation or image of a person which depicts sexually explicit nudity, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which is harmful to minors, and any matter containing explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual excitement, sexual conduct, or sadomasochistic abuse and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors.

 

The Miller/Ginsberg three prong test for material harmful to minors is not included in any West Virginia statute.

Wisconsin

Bill number

Wisconsin AB 156

Sponsor

Representative Jacque

Title

Prohibiting certain computer messages or postings that invite harassment or obscene, lewd, or profane communication and providing a penalty. (FE)

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Rules.

Summary

A.B. 156 makes it a crime to send, post, or display a message on a computerized communication system if all of the following apply:

1. The message invites a person to contact a specific individual and use obscene, lewd, or profane language or suggest a lewd or lascivious act in the invited communication.

2. The original message includes information on how to contact the individual.

3. The person sending the original message intends that the targeted person be harassed, frightened, intimidated, threatened, or abused by the invited communication.

4. As a result of the original message, a person contacts the targeted person and the targeted person is harassed, frightened, intimidated, threatened, or abused.

 

There is a separate offense if lewd, lascivious or obscene language is used in the communication to the targeted person.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Wisconsin AB 156

Representative Jacque

Prohibiting certain computer messages or postings that invite harassment or obscene, lewd, or profane communication and providing a penalty. (FE)

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Rules.

A.B. 156 makes it a crime to send, post, or display a message on a computerized communication system if all of the following apply:

1. The message invites a person to contact a specific individual and use obscene, lewd, or profane language or suggest a lewd or lascivious act in the invited communication.

2. The original message includes information on how to contact the individual.

3. The person sending the original message intends that the targeted person be harassed, frightened, intimidated, threatened, or abused by the invited communication.

4. As a result of the original message, a person contacts the targeted person and the targeted person is harassed, frightened, intimidated, threatened, or abused.

 

There is a separate offense if lewd, lascivious or obscene language is used in the communication to the targeted person.

Bill number

Wisconsin AB 434

Sponsor

Representative Kahl

Title

School bullying, unlawful use of computer systems, and providing a penalty. (FE)

Status

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Education.

Summary

A.B. 434 would bar the electronic posting of messages where other persons can view them using lewd or profane language or suggesting a lewd or lascivious act with the intent to annoy or offend.

 

Present Wisconsin law already bars sending such a message by email.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 184

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Wisconsin AB 434

Representative Kahl

School bullying, unlawful use of computer systems, and providing a penalty. (FE)

The bill died in the Assembly Committee on Education.

A.B. 434 would bar the electronic posting of messages where other persons can view them using lewd or profane language or suggesting a lewd or lascivious act with the intent to annoy or offend.

 

Present Wisconsin law already bars sending such a message by email.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 184

Bill number

Wisconsin AB 462

Sponsor

Representative Spiros

Title

Distributing a sexually explicit image without consent and providing a penalty. (FE)

Status

The Assembly passed the bill on November 12, 2013. The bill died in the Senate. Its companion bill, S.B. 467, was signed by the Governor on April 9, 2014.

Summary

A.B. 462 bars the dissemination of an image containing nudity or sexual activity if the person depicted in the image does not consent to it being distributed.

 

Consent to the capture of the image or giving such a picture, if self-taken, is not consent to it being disseminated.

 

Nudity is defined as any human being who has less than fully and opaquely covered genitals, pubic area or buttocks, any female human being who has less than a fully opaque covering over any portion of a breast below the top of the nipple, or any male human being with covered genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 367.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Wisconsin AB 462

Representative Spiros

Distributing a sexually explicit image without consent and providing a penalty. (FE)

The Assembly passed the bill on November 12, 2013. The bill died in the Senate. Its companion bill, S.B. 467, was signed by the Governor on April 9, 2014.

A.B. 462 bars the dissemination of an image containing nudity or sexual activity if the person depicted in the image does not consent to it being distributed.

 

Consent to the capture of the image or giving such a picture, if self-taken, is not consent to it being disseminated.

 

Nudity is defined as any human being who has less than fully and opaquely covered genitals, pubic area or buttocks, any female human being who has less than a fully opaque covering over any portion of a breast below the top of the nipple, or any male human being with covered genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

 

This bill is a companion to S.B. 367.

Bill number

Wisconsin SB 184

Sponsor

Senator T. Cullen

Title

School bullying, unlawful use of computer systems, and providing a penalty. (FE)

Status

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Education.

Summary

S.B. 184 would bar the electronic posting of messages where other persons can view them using lewd or profane language or suggesting a lewd or lascivious act with the intent to annoy or offend.

 

Present Wisconsin law already bars sending such a message by email.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 184 »

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Wisconsin SB 184

Senator T. Cullen

School bullying, unlawful use of computer systems, and providing a penalty. (FE)

The bill died in the Senate Committee on Education.

S.B. 184 would bar the electronic posting of messages where other persons can view them using lewd or profane language or suggesting a lewd or lascivious act with the intent to annoy or offend.

 

Present Wisconsin law already bars sending such a message by email.

 

Read the legal memo we filed on S.B. 184 »

Bill number

Wisconsin SB 367

Sponsor

Senator Vukmir

Title

Distributing a sexually explicit image without consent and providing a penalty. (FE)

Status

Signed by the Governor on April 9, 2014.

Summary

S.B. 367 bars the dissemination of an image containing nudity or sexual activity if the person depicted in the image does not consent to it being distributed.

 

Consent to the capture of the image or giving such a picture, if self-taken, is not consent to it being disseminated.

 

“Nudity” is defined as any human being who has less than fully and opaquely covered genitals, pubic area or buttocks, any female human being who has less than a fully opaque covering over any portion of a breast below the top of the nipple, or any male human being with covered genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

 

This bill is a companion to A.B. 462.


The bill was amended so that it only applies to images that are intended to be seen solely by a person to whom the person depicted “directly and intentionally” gave possession of the image or to the person to whom the person depicted gave consent to capture, view or possess the image.

 

It would criminalize the posting or publishing of an image without the consent of the person depicted if the person knows that the picture was intended to be private.

 

The amendment also added an exception to the bill for material that is newsworthy or of public importance.

Bill number

Sponsor

Title

Status

Summary

Wisconsin SB 367

Senator Vukmir

Distributing a sexually explicit image without consent and providing a penalty. (FE)

Signed by the Governor on April 9, 2014.

S.B. 367 bars the dissemination of an image containing nudity or sexual activity if the person depicted in the image does not consent to it being distributed.

 

Consent to the capture of the image or giving such a picture, if self-taken, is not consent to it being disseminated.

 

“Nudity” is defined as any human being who has less than fully and opaquely covered genitals, pubic area or buttocks, any female human being who has less than a fully opaque covering over any portion of a breast below the top of the nipple, or any male human being with covered genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

 

This bill is a companion to A.B. 462.


The bill was amended so that it only applies to images that are intended to be seen solely by a person to whom the person depicted “directly and intentionally” gave possession of the image or to the person to whom the person depicted gave consent to capture, view or possess the image.

 

It would criminalize the posting or publishing of an image without the consent of the person depicted if the person knows that the picture was intended to be private.

 

The amendment also added an exception to the bill for material that is newsworthy or of public importance.